A Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka rescued two teenage hikers from Mt. Verstovia on Saturday (5-6-23) afternoon.

The teens, ages 14 and 15, called 911 shortly before 4:30 p.m. after they found themselves lost off the trail. They were at around 1900 feet in elevation. Sitka Mountain Rescue then called for Coast Guard assistance. 

Petty Officer 3rd Class Ian Gray says two things made the rescue pretty straightforward. The first, the hikers had their cell phones on them, and that helped the crew locate them quickly.

“They got off the trail, they realized that they were in trouble and distress, that they couldn’t find their way back to the trail,” Gray says. “And they did a great job by calling 911 and letting them know exactly what was going on.”

The second thing that helped simplify the rescue mission? Clear skies, which is often not the case in Southeast Alaska.

“A lot of times, you know, the weather is not great for cases that we go out on,” Gray says. “This was this was different in that we could see them immediately and hover in place and safely rescue the two teenagers.”

It took the Coast Guard crew around 25 minutes to locate the lost hikers and bring them back to safety and awaiting family members at the air station. No injuries were reported.