Sharatin Rescuers to be Honored as Heroes


Erik Wander/KMXT

Each year the Red Cross of Alaska asks people throughout the state to nominate someone they feel has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help someone in need. This year, the team of four Kodiak Island Search and Rescue members who successfully rescued four construction workers stranded in a blizzard on Sharatin Mountain in December, have been nominated for a "Real Heroes" award sponsored by the Red Cross. The crew is nominated for a wilderness rescue award for their efforts.

The 10th Annual Real Heroes Breakfast takes place April 14th at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage.

Pat Schmalix, one of the four KISAR rescuers, will represent the crew at the April event in Anchorage. He said he was surprised by the nomination and the response to the group’s work that night.

(Heroes 1 13 sec. "A few weeks afterwards … bigger than I thought it was.")

Schmalix said he has distinct memories of the December rescue and says the four stranded workers are heroes in their own right for having survived the ordeal.

(Heroes 2 34 sec. "I’ll never forget … an easy way to say it.")

Schmalix said there were other heroes involved in the rescue operation, which included members of the Alaska State Troopers and the Coast Guard, aside from the four KISAR rescuers who actually went up the mountain. Tom Walters of Maritime Helicopters, who flew the crew to the mountain, was one of them.

(Heroes 3 21 sec. "Tom Walters flying … to the top.")

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