Coast Guard rescues 2 from downed aircraft near Pilot Point, Alaska

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew transfers two plane crash survivors to emergency medical personnel at Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, Jan. 16, 2016. The Piper Cherokee airplane went down at the mouth of the King Salmon River near Pilot Point with two people aboard. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. John Rauschenberger.

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew transfers two plane crash survivors to emergency medical personnel at Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, Jan. 16, 2016.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. John Rauschenberger.

JUNEAU, Alaska — A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew located and rescued two survivors of a plane crash from the mouth of the King Salmon River, approximately 184 miles west of Kodiak, Alaska, Monday evening.

The Jayhawk crew hoisted and transported the two survivors to awaiting emergency medical personnel in Kodiak. Both the passenger and the pilot were reported to be in stable condition. The passenger suffered an apparent arm injury, and the pilot suffered apparent back and neck injuries.

Watchstanders from Coast Guard 17th District received notification of the crash with a possible, approximate location of the Piper Cherokee plane based on the filed flight plan and time. Watchstanders immediately directed the launch of the Air Station Kodiak aircrew.

“With the help of local officials and volunteers, we searched and located the downed aircraft on the frozen surface of Ugashik Bay, south of Pilot Point, where we recovered the pilot and passenger from the ice despite driving snow, low visibility and below-freezing temperatures,” said Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Huntley, the Air Station Kodiak pilot on the case. “Both survivors had sustained injuries in the crash, and we were also concerned about their exposure to the cold. Luckily, they had filed a flight plan so we knew the approximate area to locate and rescue them as quickly and efficiently as we were able.

The weather was reported as three miles of visibility, 11-mph winds and snowing.

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