Troopers rescue man canoeing across bay

Alaska Wildlife Troopers on Monday night rescued a man canoeing across Kachemak Bay in a 14-foot Coleman “Scanoe” canoe. 

Troopers in the P/V Augustine found Mark Makris, 27, of Anchorage, north of Sixty Foot Rock and about 2.5 miles off the Homer Spit after an acquaintance reported Makris in need of rescue. He was taken back to Homer without injuries. Troopers located Markis by cell phone and by spotting reflective tape on his canoe from the Augustine’s search light.

Makris had a cell phone, food and water, and minimal survival gear, but no personal floatation device or marine radio, said trooper spokesperson Megan Peters. Troopers cited him for not having a PFD.

“He was dangerously unprepared not only equipment wise, but skill set as well,” Peters said.

Makris left the harbor at about 5:30 p.m. March 3, intending to reach Seldovia within five hours. At about 8:25 p.m. troopers responded to a call that he was in distress. 

An acquaintance reported concerns to Seldovia Police who notified troopers. The U.S. Coast Guard also put out a notice to mariners on VHF channel 16 to render assistance to Makris.

Seas were less than 1-foot but with significant tidal influence before the rescue, Peters said. Makris had been drifting with the tide into the bay and away from islands to the south. The Scanoe did not have a cover over the gunwales or any modifications like an outrigger, Peters said. Makris was not suspected to be impaired.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at