Saturday, February 6, 2021, the US Coast Guard performed an airlift rescue for a man who had an unfortunate encounter with a bear while backcountry skiing.
The Alaska State Troopers requested help from the Coast Guard around 3:20 p.m who then sent an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka according to an online statement. The helicopter crew located the man and two other skiers in his party about 10 miles northwest of Haines at an elevation of 1,600 feet, just above Chilkoot Lake.
The victim who suffered injuries to his head and hands was flown to Juneau and placed in the care of awaiting EMS.
Fortunately, the two other skiers were quick to respond with proper emergency care and give exact GPS coordinates to the rescue team.
Lt. Cmdr. Will Sirokman who was the co-pilot for the case stated,
“The other two members in the patient’s skiing party had the proper equipment and knowledge to assist with his injuries and communicate for help in 15 degree temperatures with sunset approaching. Their satellite communication device provided the precise GPS coordinates and elevation of their location. Equally important, they had brightly colored fabric to signal the helicopter as we approached. This was absolutely crucial to us finding them in a timely manner.”
According to the report, the man’s condition wasn’t known to the Coast Guard at the time of this release, but he was responsive and talking at the time of the rescue.
Watch the video of the rescue below!