Alaska State Trooper search team rescue four men stranded on Kodiak mountain

KODIAK, Alaska – Four men trapped on a mountainside by a winter storm on Kodiak Island are safe today after being found by an Alaska State Trooper search and rescue team Monday.

Kodiak Island Search and Rescue located the individuals about 6:47 p.m. Monday at an elevation of 2,850-feet on Sharatin Mountain. They were provided warm clothes and food before starting a several hour hike off the mountain. At about 5 a.m. the group was reported off the mountain and in the care of medical services. Their conditions were not reported.

Monday a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Kodiak launched and flew to an altitude of 1,750-feet but was unable to reach the location of the stranded men due to low cloud ceilings, poor visibility and high winds.

Alaska State Troopers flew in a helicopter owned by Maritime Helicopters Inc. to an altitude of 1,400-feet but had to land on the side of the mountain due to high winds and low visibility. The Alaska State Trooper ground search party disembarked from the helicopter and began making its way to the stranded individuals Monday at 3 p.m. The search party brought necessary survival equipment in case they needed to stay on the mountain overnight.

“Weather is torturous in Alaska and being prepared for the unexpected is required at all times,” said Lt. LuAnn Kehlenbach, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center chief. “Despite having experience, emergency supplies and communications, these men were at the mercy of Mother Nature. The Coast Guard relied on the hard work and dedication of Good Samaritans, civilian volunteers, and the Alaska State Troopers to make this rescue a success.”

Three of the individuals became separated from their camp Sunday night and took shelter on the backside of the mountain in a snow cave. They contacted the Coast Guard at about 7:45 a.m. Monday via VHF channel 16 reporting minor frostbite and hypothermia symptoms.

The fourth individual remained with the camp in one of the tents and contacted the Coast Guard at about 5 a.m. on a satellite phone. At that time he reported himself in good condition.

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