Air Station Cape Cod holds Air Medal ceremony for heroic, lifesaving efforts

A Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod crew poses for a photo with Representative William Keating (D-MA-9), and Rear Adm. Steven Poulin, commander, First Coast Guard District, Monday, June 19, 2017, in Cape Cod. The crew was being honored for saving a 28-year-old man who fell while free climbing in Acadia National Park in Maine. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Barresi)

A Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod crew poses for a photo with Representative William Keating (D-MA-9), and Rear Adm. Steven Poulin, commander, First Coast Guard District, Monday, June 19, 2017, in Cape Cod. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Barresi)

BOSTON — Petty Officer 2nd Class Mario Estevane, an aviation survival technician from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, received the Air Medal Monday for his heroic actions in 2016 on a 1,000-foot cliff face in Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine.

On Oct. 8, 2016, a U.S. Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Air Station Cape Cod launched to rescue a 28-year-old male climber who fell from a 50-feet.

When the aircrew arrived on scene, Estevane was hoisted down to discuss the rescue plan with the leader of the ranger team on scene.

From the ground Estevane radioed the aircrew, which was still in flight, to deliver the helicopter’s rescue litter to the face of the cliff. He then employed a non-standard rescue technique, free climbing across the cliff face, while maneuvering the 45-pound litter over large boulders, down cliff ledges, and around thick brush. He innovatively used rappelling equipment and ropes provided by the ground team to lower the litter down 50-feet to a small ledge, where the helicopter crew could safely complete the hoist. Estevane then rappelled himself down to the ledge, where he met the ranger rescue team. While clinging only to scrub brush in high winds and driving rain 700-feet above the valley floor, he helped transfer the patient into the litter, prepare him for the night time hoist, and once inside the helicopter, remained at his side through the flight.

Also recognized were: Pilot Cmdr Steven F. Jensen, and flight mechanic Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel J. Cote, who each received Coast Guard Commendation Medals. Co-pilot Lt. Michelle A. Simmons was presented the Coast Guard Achievement Medal.

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