Coast Guard rescues stranded hunter near Sitka, Alaska

Coast Guard Alaska News
SITKA, Alaska — The Coast Guard rescued a stranded hunter from the Carmel Mountain area near Sitka Wednesday.

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew transferred the 69-year-old man to Air Station Sitka where waiting medical personnel checked him for signs of hypothermia.

John Delong, of Sitka, Alaska, stands with Petty Officer 2nd Class Brendan Dent, Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason Vaughn and Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Ransom from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka after his rescue from the Carmel Mountain area near Sitka Nov. 19, 2014. Delong was stranded on the island while hunting after his boat became submerged. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Cmdr. Pete Melnick)

John Delong, of Sitka, Alaska, stands with Petty Officer 2nd Class Brendan Dent, Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason Vaughn and Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Ransom after his rescue  Nov. 19, 2014. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Cmdr. Pete Melnick)

Air Station Sitka personnel received a report of the stranded hunter from the Sitka Police Department after his wife reported him overdue from his trip. Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Juneau Command Center assumed control of the case and launched the helicopter crew to rescue the man.

“This case is a good example of how planning ahead and having good communication with loved ones can aid a successful rescue,” said Cmdr. Pete Melnick, operations officer, Coast Guard Air Station Sitka. “The Coast Guard reminds hunters to leave a travel plan including campsite locations and estimated trip duration with family or friends before beginning any hunting trip. It’s also recommended to bring more than one means of communication when possible and to always carry a signal device such as a mirror or flares for the event of a rescue.”

The weather on scene was reported to be calm.

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