Coast Guard, Sitka Mountain Rescue assist stranded hikers on Mount Bassie

KODIAK, Alaska – A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew assisted a Sitka Mountain Rescue team to rescue four hikers stranded on Mount Bassie on Baranof Island six miles south of Sitka Thursday.

The hikers reportedly had planned to traverse the island on a common route but became stranded on a 56 degree slope and could not descend further due to the terrain. The hikers called Sitka Mountain Rescue personnel on marine channel 68 for assistance.

Sitka Mountain Rescue personnel notified an Air Station Sitka watchstander Thursday afternoon of the request for assistance. A Coast Guard helicopter crew conducting a training flight at the time assessed the weather conditions near the hiker’s position.

The helicopter crew departed Sitka with the five-member rescue team onboard at about 3:40 p.m. and the team was transported in two trips to Camp Lake, located below the Mount Bassie summit.

The rescue team reportedly located the hiking party Thursday evening and was able to assist them down from the slope with ropes. The hikers had food and water for two days and a marine band radio. The Sitka Mountain Rescue team also had supplies and communications equipment. The Sitka Mountain Rescue team will further assist the hikers down Mount Bassie Friday morning.

Weather is reportedly 50 degrees, overcast skies with drizzle, winds at 8 mph and visibility of three miles.

Sitka Mountain Rescue is a group of volunteers providing wilderness safety education to the public, and prompt, professional emergency services for people who are lost, injured, stranded, or in need of rescue within the City and Borough of Sitka and Southeast Alaska.

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