A man sustained multiple injuries after a tree fell on him north of Sitka on Friday morning (12-28-12).
The Coast Guard issued an urgent marine bulletin around 11:30 AM on VHF radio channel 16, asking passing vessels to investigate a mayday call from a woman who reported that her husband was seriously injured on the beach.
Don Kluting is the captain of Sitka Mountain Rescue.
“Fifteen or twenty minutes later we received a report from a Good Samaritan vessel that was headed up and they reported that they had seen a flare shot from the location where this incident took place. They went and investigated and found our injured party and wife on the beach in need of assistance.”
The Good Samaritan was the fishing vessel Victory. The injured man was on shore in Nakwasina Sound, just past Dog Point.
An Air Station Sitka helicopter was already airborne on a routine training flight when the call came in. The helicopter met a Sitka Mountain Rescue team, which had departed from Sitka in a harbor boat, at the scene.
Kluting says the injury was the result of an accident.
“The subject was cutting a tree down, and the reports are the tree fell the wrong way.”
The Coast Guard hoisted the man aboard the helicopter for the three-minute medevack flight to the Sitka airport, where he was transferred to emergency medical service personnel and taken to Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital for additional care.
In a news release, the Coast Guard credits the couple’s emergency preparedness for their prompt rescue, and their use of communications and signaling.