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Coast Guard rescue hiker after 200-foot fall in Mount Verstovia, Sitka

Coast Guard rescue hiker after 200-foot fall in Mount Verstovia, Sitka
Archive image: A U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Sitka rescue swimmer hoists a Royal Canadian Air Force search and rescue technician while conducting joint training in Sitka Sound, Alaska, Feb. 27, 2019.
Approximately 15 people from the Royal Canadian Air Force participated in the training from Feb. 25-27.
U.S. Coast Guard photo.

KODIAK, Alaska — A Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter aircrew rescue a 70-year-old hiker who reportedly fell 200 feet while hiking on Mount Verstovia near Sitka, yesterday.

An Air Station Sitka MH-60T Jayhawk Medium-Range Recovery Helicopter crew safely transported the hiker to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel waiting at the Air Station.​

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center received a call from a Sitka Mountain Rescue crew at 12:08 p.m., requesting assistance to locate, hoist, and transport the hiker.

The hiker initially managed to call 911 using his cell phone and the Sitka Mountain Rescue dispatched a team to the mountain to attempt to locate the individual.​

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter aircrew medically evacuated a 70-year-old hiker who reportedly fell 200 feet while hiking on Mount Verstovia near Sitka, Alaska, on March 26, 2022.
U.S. Coast Guard video by Petty Officer 1st Class Ali Blackburn.
U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Sitka.
U.S. Coast Guard Alaska.
Department of Homeland Security.

The MH-60 Jayhawk Air Station Sitka aircrew completed the rescue, from takeoff to landing, within 45 minutes.​

“Our working relationship with local partner agencies such as the Sitka Mountain Rescue team is an important component to successfully coordinating and completing rescues in Alaska,” said Coast Guard Lt. Jonathan Orthman, an Air Station Sitka pilot.

Before venturing outdoors, the Coast Guard wants to remind people to follow these recommended safety guidelines:

  • Carry a form of communication in the event you need assistance
  • File a travel plan and leave it with somebody you trust. It should include when you are leaving, where you will be, how long you will be gone and when you plan to return
  • Carry the appropriate gear, including a first aid kit, food, water and extra clothing in the event you need to shelter in place. In an emergency, rescuers may take several hours to reach your location.

-USCG-

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