The VICE Guide to Right Now

This Guy Tried to Sail Across an Alaskan Channel in a Duct-Taped Raft

His keen sense of adventure is noble, but his craftsmanship was a little lacking.

by River Donaghey
Jun 9 2017, 3:17pm

Photo via the US Coast Guard

This modern world holds precious few opportunities for the pioneer-minded among us. Mountains have been scaled, oceans have been sailed, and the dragons that once haunted the edges of our maps are all but extinct.

Fortunately, there are still a brave few souls out there pushing the boundaries to go further than anyone before them. Unfortunately, these quests doesn't always end well. Such is the sad tale of one man who attempted to ford Alaska's Gastineau Channel in an inflatable duct-taped boat with his dog at his side.

According to KTOO, the US Coast Guard came to the rescue of an unnamed 32-year-old who had stranded himself in the middle of the channel in his sinking makeshift raft. He was reportedly headed toward Juneau's Point Bishop and decided that fashioning a DIY raft with duct tape and sailing across the channel—which separates mainland Alaska from Douglas Island—was the best course of action.

While it's not 100-percent clear whether or not the entire thing was made of duct tape, or just patched up with it, it quickly proved it was no match for the high seas. It started sinking in the middle of the channel, and a 25-foot Coast Guard boat had to swoop in and save the day. The boat picked up both the DIY adventurer and his canine co-pilot and shuttled them off to dry land.

"I noticed the craft in the channel and I could tell the man was not wearing a life jacket and the craft was not safe," the Coast Guard's Lt. Joseph Schlosser, who was off-duty at the time, wrote in his report. "I contacted the sector command center and the Station's smallboat crew responded quickly and helped the man to safety."

The guy's keen sense of adventure is noble, but his duct tape craftsmanship was apparently a little lacking. Plus, come on man, why'd you have to rope your dog into this? Maybe next time he should team up with the guy who tried to run across the ocean in an inflatable bubble and see what kind of sea-related trouble they can get into together.

duct tape raft
gastineau channel
coast guard rescue