Coast Guard aircrews conduct 2 medevacs near Kotzebue

A Coast Guard Air Station crew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, operates in Forward Operating Location Kotzebue, Alaska, Sept. 18, 2021. Coast Guard file photo by Lt. Scott Kellerman.

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak crew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, operates in Forward Operating Location Kotzebue, Alaska. Coast Guard file photo by Lt. Scott Kellerman.

KODIAK, Alaska – Coast Guard aircrews medically evacuated three hunters during two separate cases near Kotzebue, Alaska, this week.

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak aircrew, forward deployed to Kotzebue, medevaced a 38-year-old male hunting guide and his hunting partner 110 miles northeast of Kotzebue, Monday, and another aircrew from the same air station medevaced a 62-year-old male hunter 100 miles north of Kotzebue, Tuesday.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 17th District Command Center received a call at 9:16 a.m., Monday, requesting an agency assist in transporting two men in a hunting party after one became sick. The Alaska State Troopers were unable to land and recover the patient due to flooding on the runway. Alaska Rescue Coordination Center and Air National Guard personnel were also requested but could not accept the mission due to current tasking and weather concerns. The two hunters were located, hoisted and safely transported to Kotzebue for further medical evaluation.

At 8:27 a.m. on Tuesday, the 17th District Command Center personnel received information about a 62-year-old male who was reportedly experiencing potential symptoms of a heart attack. The Coast Guard aircrew landed near the hunting party, took the patient aboard, and transported him to awaiting medical personnel in Kotzebue.

“Having crews and assets in our forward operating location Kotzebue continues to be highly beneficial during search and rescue cases,” said Master Chief Chris Cole, 17th District command center. “Many of our local and state partners are also engaged with the storm response efforts, so having an available crew in Kotzebue allowed us to assist our state partners with this timely rescue of these hunters.”

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