Alaska, Maritime

Coast Guard rescues 2 from downed aircraft on Unalaska Island, Alaska

Petty Officer 1st Class Jon Emerson assists three men out of a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter after a search and rescue mission 57 miles from Kodiak, April 21, 2015. The men were rescued off a raft after their fishing vessel Northern Pride sank due to a fire in the engine room. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Diana Honings)
A USCG rescue helicopter on Kodiak Island, 2015 (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Diana Honings)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Coast Guard aircrew rescued two people from a helicopter that crashed near the Dutch Harbor Airport on Unalaska Island Friday afternoon.

Watchstanders at the 17th Coast Guard District Command Center received a 406 megahertz personal locator beacon activation from a R22 Robinson helicopter. The beacon was plotted in a position approximately nine miles south-southwest of the Dutch Harbor Airport. The beacon plotted in mountainous terrain.

The 17th District directed the launch of a Coast Guard aircrew detached to the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley. The MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew located both and transported them to the medical clinic in Dutch Harbor. Both survivors were reported to have minor cuts and bruises. The R22 Robinson helicopter reportedly entered whiteout conditions and then crashed.

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“Having a properly maintained and registered PLB aided in the quick response and ultimately saved the pilot and passenger’s life,” said Lt. j.g. Daniel Hendricks, 17th District Command Center.

Weather on scene was heavy snow with less than one mile of visibility and 9-mph winds.

For breaking news follow the Coast Guard’s 17th District Twitter account @USCGAlaska.

Submitted by USCG Petty Officer 1st Class Bill Colclough

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