Coast Guard busy with search and rescue cases the past week

Crews from the Coast Guard Air Station Kodak performed two medevacs last week, one an injured hunter and his companion on Kodiak, and the other an elderly couple on St. Paul Island.

Early Friday morning the Air Station was notified by the Alaska State Troopers of an injured hunter on Middle Sister Mountain.

Coast Guard Public Affairs Specialist Lauren Dean has details of that medevac.


“An Air Station Kodiak Jayhawk aircrew was launched in response to that. We are just fortunate that the hunters thought ahead to relocate to a suitable hoisting area and had flashlights so they could easily make them out from a distance. This is actually a quite from Lt. Joe Chevalier, who is an Air Station Kodiak pilot.”


On Sunday, the Air Station was again called on for a medevac.


“District 17 Command Center watchstanders received notification from the St. Paul clinic for a husband and a wife, both suffering from medical complications that required transport to a higher medical dare. District then directed the launch of an Air Station Kodiak Hercules air crew, which is a C-130, one of the newer models, a C-130J, with the support of a rescue swimmer and a corpsman onboard to assist with medical concerns inflight for both the man and the woman.”


Dean said bad weather was a factor in the St. Paul medevac, which might normally have been handled by a commercial jet ambulance.


“I think the big thing here was just that even in the summertime in Alaska the weather can change drastically and does still, whether it is summer or winter, it is subject to change quickly. And part of the reason why the Coast Guard was launched on this case in particular was due to the drastic weather changes. The weather around St. Paul at the time was not conducive to commercial services being able to get in and land. So we were able to thankfully get in and transport these people to the care that they needed.


And there are two other Search and Rescue cases that were reported on the Air Station’s Facebook page.

On Thursday, July. 25 an H-60 crew completed what is described as “a quick” early morning medevac of a miner from Terror Lake. The crew landed at the lake and picked up a 37-year-old man who was injured by a falling rock.

And then on Wed. July 31, an H-60 crew forward deployed in Kotzebue located a missing person who had been overdue since the Sunday prior.

According to the Air Station’s Facebook post, the helicopter crew found the man in a remote cabin located 30 miles outside the city of Kotzebue.


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