The MH-60T Jayhawk Medium-Range Recovery Helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka rescued the two from the U.S. Forest Service Cabin at Humpback Lake in the Misty Fjords National Monument after their float plane crashed during takeoff. The rescue helicopter crew lowered a rescue swimmer who safely hoisted both individuals before transferring them to awaiting emergency medical service (EMS) personnel in Ketchikan. The two survivors were the only passengers aboard the privately-owned aircraft. No injuries were reported.
“This case highlights the importance of having safety equipment that is accessible and in working order,” said Lt. Maren Balke, search and rescue mission coordinator at the Sector Juneau command center. “The pilot was able to call for help using a satellite phone shortly after the crash, and they also activated a personal locator beacon, which allowed our air crew to quickly respond to their exact location.”
Watchstanders at the Sector Juneau command center received notification from the Cessna 180 via satellite phone at 2:45 p.m.
Weather conditions on scene were 5 mph winds, visibility of 10 miles, ceilings of 5,000 feet with an air temperature of 65 degrees.
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