A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew on Thursday rescued a 66-year-old man stranded for three days on Montague Island, which is located at the entrance to Prince William Sound. The helicopter and crew were forward-deployed to Cordova.
According to a Coast Guard press release the man was transferred to emergency medical services personnel in Cordova. He was reported to have been dehydrated but was in stable condition upon transfer.
Here is how the case developed. At approximately 6 a.m. Thursday, watchstanders at Sector Anchorage command center received notification from a Good Samaritan vessel of people on the rocks near the southern tip of Montague Island wearing survival suits.
After the Good Samaritan vessel was unable to establish contact or get to the people, CG District 17 issued an urgent marine information broadcast to alert any nearby mariners of the distress situation. It also granted the use of an Air Station Kodiak Jayhawk helicopter crew, as well as a Coast Guard Station Valdez 45-foot Response Boat and crew to assist with the search.
Once on scene, a rescue swimmer was lowered to the beach from the helicopter and confirmed one person was in a survival suit on the island. The aircrew hoisted the man from the beach and transported him to Cordova for treatment.
After speaking with the survivor, it was reported he was stranded for three days on the island after his vessel struck a rock and quickly sank. This rescue is the most recent of late where the victims were rescued because they had the proper equipment and knew what to do in an emergency.
“This case is exactly why having all available survival equipment on hand is an absolute necessity in Alaska,” said Lt. Junior Grade Angella Thoutte, the Sector Anchorage command duty officer in the press release.
“With the severe temperature drops, even in the summer, preparation increases the likelihood of survivability,” she said.
The Coast Guard said the weather on scene was 5-foot seas and calm winds.