Anchorage hunter rescued by Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers near Port Lions

KODIAK, Alaska – An Anchorage hunter overdue near Port Lions was located by an Alaska State Wildlife Trooper pilot and rescued by the Coast Guard five miles west of Port Lions Saturday.

Johnnie M. O’Fallon, 37, was lost and disoriented while hunting alone Friday. Unable to locate his ATV he began hiking toward Port Lions. Alaska State Troopers received notification the man was overdue returning from his trip Saturday morning. They launched an aircraft and a ground party was delivered to Port Lions from Kodiak City by the crew of a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Kodiak. After dropping off the ground party about 1 p.m. the rescue helicopter crew commenced searching the area for O’Fallon.

Approximately 2 p.m. Alaska State Wildlife Tropper pilot Alan Jones located O’Fallon about five miles west of Port Lions. The Coast Guard helicopter crew recovered O’Fallon and returned him safely to Port Lions arriving at 2:39 p.m.

“We were only about a mile away when Jones located him,” said Lt. Cmdr. Craig Neubecker, aircraft commander Coast Guard rescue helicopter. “Once on scene we lowered the rescue swimmer to check him out. O’Fallon was in good shape with no injuries and we had him disassemble his hunting gun before taking him on board and flying him back to Port Lions.”

Neubecker added that Jones’ effort saved a lot of time by narrowing the search area. Jones was airborne and searching for O’Fallon prior to the Coast Guard. The Troopers are routinely the lead agency for land based searches.

“We’re glad we found him,” said Neubecker. “We did notice a lot of bear activity in the area, a lot of tracks.”

Weather conditions were good for the search with ten miles of visibility and a high ceiling for the aircraft to fly under. The air temperature was 33 degrees and the winds were reportedly east at five mph.

Port Lions is a native village on Kodiak Island about 19 miles west of Kodiak City and supports a population of about 260.

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