Coast Guard Air Station Sitka rescued two hikers this weekend. The first, who was traveling with his wife, fell approximately 150 feet on Mt. Bassie on Friday (8-2-19). An Air Station Sitka helicopter aircrew rescued him on the Baranof Cross Island route.
Sitka Mountain Rescue notified the Sector Juneau command center shortly before 11am on Friday. The man had injured his hand and face and was having difficulty walking. Sector Juneau called in the Air Station Sitka aircrew to respond.
“No trip is routine, and even the most experienced hikers and climbers can have accidents,” Commander Matthew Breckel, the aircraft commander on the case, said in a statement. “The hikers were well prepared and that contributed significantly to our ability to locate their position and transfer the injured individual to medical care.”
The aircrew hoisted both the injured man and his wife off the mountain. They transported them to awaiting emergency medical services in Sitka. The man was reported to have been in stable condition upon transfer.
Air Station Sitka lifted off for a second rescue on Saturday evening. A helicopter crew medevaced a 72-year-old woman from Chilkoot Pass approximately 15 miles northeast of Skagway.
Alaska State Troopers called the Sector Juneau command center asking for assistance in medevacing an elderly woman with a leg injury. The conditions of the terrain required a helicopter rescue. According to a statement, the hikers had a personal emergency beacon and strobe light which made finding them much easier.
“You never plan to have a bad day in the outdoors, but if you’re prepared you can aid rescue crews and avoid a potentially life-threatening situation,” Lieutenant Kyle Johnson, a copilot on the case, said in a statement.
On-scene weather was 9-mph winds, 10 miles visibility, clear skies and an air temperature of 68 degrees.
The aircrew safely transported the injured woman to awaiting emergency medical services personnel in Juneau and she was reported in stable condition upon transfer.