Coast Guard rescues 11 from plane crash near Ketchikan, Alaska

Two Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews rescue 11 people after a float plane crashed 39 miles south southwest of Ketchikan, Alaska, on Prince of Wales Island, July 10, 2018. All 11 people were taken to a staging area nearby for further transfer to Ketchikan. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Two Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews rescue 11 people after a float plane crashed 39 miles south southwest of Ketchikan, Alaska, on Prince of Wales Island, July 10, 2018. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

JUNEAU, Alaska – Two Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews rescued 11 people after a floatplane crashed 39 miles south southwest of Ketchikan, Alaska, on Prince of Wales Island, Tuesday.

The Jayhawk crews arrived on scene, and were able to safely hoist all 11 people from the side of a mountain, approximately 2,000 feet in elevation. The Jayhawk crew then took them to a staging area established by Temsco Helicopters Inc., for further transfer to Ketchikan by Temsco helicopters. All were reported to have minor injuries, but otherwise in good condition.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center watchstanders received a call from the pilot of a Dehaviland DHC-3 aircraft stating that the plane crashed on Prince of Wales Island, on the west side of Mount Jumbo. Sector Juneau watchstanders quickly directed the launch of two Jayhawk helicopter crews.

“I am proud of everyone involved in this rescue and that we were able to get all 11 people to safety in a timely manner,” said Cmdr. Michael Kahle, Coast Guard Sector Juneau search and rescue mission coordinator. “Cases like these exemplify the versatility of our aircrews and how capable they are to expertly perform rescues from the ocean or even mountainsides.”

Weather at the time of the incident was approximately two-mile visibility, three miles of ceiling, broken clouds at 1,200 feet, overcast at 1,700 feet and 58 degrees.

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