Coast Guard rescues missing snowmobiler near Juneau, Alaska

A snowmobile is buried in a snowbank after the operator becomes stranded near Dan Moeller Bowl on Douglas Island near Juneau, Alaska, Jan. 5, 2016. The man was located, hoisted and transported to Juneau by a Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A snowmobile is buried in a snowbank after the operator becomes stranded near Dan Moeller Bowl on Douglas Island near Juneau, Alaska, Jan. 5, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

JUNEAU, Alaska — A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew located and hoisted a snowmobiler from Douglas Island, Alaska, Monday.

The helicopter crew located the man within five minutes of beginning their search by spotting his flashlight. The man was hoisted and transported to Juneau with no apparent injuries.

Watchstanders from Coast Guard Sector Juneau received an agency assist request from the Alaska State Troopers following a report from the overdue snowmobiler’s girlfriend that he was near the Dan Moeller Bowl on Douglas Island. A local snowmobile club initiated the search and found fresh sled tracks and footprints allowing them to report a general location for the helicopter crew to search.

“With limited daylight and dropping temperatures, searches in Alaska can be challenging and very time-critical,” said Scott Giard, a Sector Juneau watchstander. “Having signaling devices such as flares and flashlights can be the difference in a person being located in five minutes instead of the next morning.”

Weather on scene was reported as 25 degrees and clear with light winds.

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