Coast Guard rescues missing hiker near Sitka, Alaska

Coast Guard Alaska NewsKODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard rescued a 55-year-old woman who was reported missing approximately 85 miles north of Sitka, Alaska, Saturday.

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew located the hiker on shore and transported her to awaiting emergency medical services personnel in Sitka.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders received a request for assistance from the Alaska State Troopers for an aerial search of a hiker who went missing from a lodge at Gull Cove on Chichagof Island. Operators of the lodge became concerned after the missing persons dog returned to the lodge without her. Air Station Sitka launched the Jayhawk crew to help in the search.

While preparing to return to base for fuel, the Jayhawk crew located the hiker on shore and landed for pick-up. The hiker was ambulatory but hypothermic.

“The hiker had little experience in the area and did not take survival or signal gear,” said Lt. Mickey Sanders, command duty officer, Sector Juneau. “It’s important for anyone heading out into the Alaskan wilderness to plan ahead, have a reliable form of communication, take appropriate gear and check the weather. You should also ensure someone is aware of these plans as it greatly assists search crews in the event something does happen.”

The weather on scene was reported as 36 degrees, 17 mph winds with snow squalls.

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