UPDATE: Coast Guard finds three missing hunters

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WHITTIER, Alaska (KTUU) - Update Monday, Jan. 1: Monday afternoon, the Coast Guard found three missing men near Chenega Island in Prince William Sound about 2:30 p.m.

All three men are safe and have no medical concerns, according to the Coast Guard.

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 helicopter flew the men back to Seward, according to the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard said, the Jayhawk crew spotted their 20-foot vessel and a flag on the beach. They were able to land and rescue the men.

"It was reported the men survived by eating kelp and drinking water while staying out of the elements in a cabin they found on the island," according to a Coast Guard press release.

The U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, wrote on their Facebook page Monday morning that, "crews have completed nine search patterns by air and sea covering more than 1,600 square miles despite harsh weather conditions including reduced visibility, icing, and turbulence."

While the Coast Guard is not releasing the men's names, a GoFundMe page identifies them as George A. Matveev, Afanasy G. Tipikin and Leonti Tipikin.

The Coast Guard said it urges mariner to always stay informed about weather conditions.

For information on weather broadcasts and current storm advisories visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's website.

The Coast Guard says, to always wear a life jacket, carry marine flares and Ensure bilge pumps are operational and vessels are secure for heavy winds and rain.

Before heading out, file a float plan with friends and family members include a list of the number of passengers aboard the vessel, the vessel's destination and expected a time of return.

Original Story Saturday, Dec. 30:
A search is currently underway in Whittier for three men reported overdue to the Coast Guard on Friday night. According to a release sent Saturday afternoon, the Coast Guard has a helicopter and boat crew looking for the men.

The Coast Guard said the men were making a trip to Whittier on a 20-foot Duckworth Jet Boat from Montague Island. A family member reported Friday afternoon around 4:00 to report that the men were “experiencing engine issues and intended to transit in on their kicker engine,” the release stated.

“We continue to search for the missing and ask anyone in the area to keep a vigilant eye and render assistance if able,” Petty Officer 2nd Class Lindsey Helmbrecht, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstander said.

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