Coast Guard rescues off duty police officer near Sitka

JUNEAU, Alaska – A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka along with Sitka Mountain Rescue saves a Sitka man who had fallen from a cliff near Alpine Lake, 10 miles north of Sitka Friday at 7:40 a.m.

Sitka Police Department called the Coast Guard 17th District command at 8:40 p.m. Thursday reporting Kyle Ferguson, an off-duty police officer, was at 2,600-feet altitude when he fell 200-yards down a mountain while hiking disloctating his shoulder and possibly suffering spinal injury, head trauma and hypothermia.

Air Staion Sitka launched a Jayhawk at 10:12 p.m. with Sitka Mountain Rescue on board. Upon arrival at 10:30 p.m. the Jayhawk lowered the Sitka Mountain Rescue team to assess the condition of Ferguson. Sitka Mountain Rescue advised the Jayhawk crew that a hoist would be unsafe due to the extreme slope and instability of the mountain. Instead they requested more personnel and equipment so that they can attempt a different rescue approach.

The Jayhawk returned to Air Station Sitka where Sitka Mountain Rescue personnel were waiting with the necessary equipment. The Jayhawk picked up the crew and took them to the mountain. The rescue team decided to place Ferguson in a litter and lower him using ropes to a safer, flatter spot on the mountain where he could be safely picked up.

Once reaching a safe, flat spot on the mountain, the Jayhawk landed, brought Ferguson on board and safely transferred him to Air Station Sitka where emergency medical services were waiting.

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