Elderly couple rescued off Kuskokwim River near Napaimute

Published: May. 1, 2020 at 10:58 AM AKDT
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An elderly couple was rescued from a skiff on the Kuskokwim River near Napaimute early Friday morning, Alaska State Troopers said.

In a release from AST, officials said troopers in Aniak received information from the Department of Homeland Security State Emergency Operations Center that "warranted a welfare check" on 75-year-old John Borowski and 74-year-old Seraphine Borowski in Napaimute. Heavy flooding in the area due to excessive ice on the Kuskokwim River had become a concern.

AST had been conducting radio communications with the couple and other residents in the area, with aircraft conducting river watch operations, officials said.

At 7:40 p.m. Thursday, AST received a report that the couple was unable to reach higher ground and needed rescuing.

According to a statement from the Alaska National Guard, AST contacted the Rescue Coordination Center to conduct the rescue. The Alaska Air National Guard sent in an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter and an HC-130 Combat King II aircraft with pararescuemen on board. Around midnight, a C-130 plane began circling the area, and a Blackhawk helicopter arrived and rescued the couple off their boat shortly after that.

The Borowskis were then found and taken to a trooper post in Aniak. They are "reported to be in good health," AST said.

Officials said there were no injuries during the rescue.

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