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Coast Guard assists Sitka Mountain Rescue to hoist injured hiker on Baranof Island, Alaska

US Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter
MH-60 Jayhawk from USCG Air Station Sitka.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios (archive).

KODIAK, Alaska – A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew rescued an injured hiker after falling approximately 150 feet while hiking with his wife on the Cross Island Trail of Mt. Bassie, Baranof Island, Alaska, Friday.​

The aircrew successfully and safely hoisted both the injured man and his wife and transported them to awaiting emergency medical services in Sitka for further transport to higher medical care. The man was reported have been in stable condition upon transfer.​

At approximately 10:45 a.m., Sector Juneau command center personnel received notification via telephone from Sitka Mountain Rescue that a hiker had fallen approximately 150 feet while hiking with his wife on Baranof Island. The man was reported to have suffered injuries to both his hand and face and had difficulty walking. Sector Juneau directed the launch of a Coast Guard Air Station Sitka aircrew to respond and assist.​

«No trip is routine, and even the most experienced hikers and climbers can have accidents,» said Cmdr. Matthew Breckel, the aircraft commander on the case. «Being able to communicate distress is an important safety tool when the unexpected occurs. In the case today the hikers were well prepared and that contributed significantly to our ability to locate their position and transfer the injured individual to medical care.»


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