Coast Guard Helicopter Crash: Two Members Seriously Injured during Search and Rescue MissionGo Back to News and Updates
On Monday evening, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter based out of Alaska's Air Station Sitka crashed on Read Island, badly injuring two Coast Guard members. The tragedy happened when rescuers were trying to reach the fishing boat Lydia Marie, which had been flooded.
Petersburg Fire and Rescue teams and Alaska Wildlife Troopers arrived at the accident scene at 12:50 a.m. Tuesday and immediately began rescue operations. At 1:39 a.m., a second MH-60 Jayhawk air team from Air Station Sitka arrived to assist with the wounded chopper crew.
According to a news statement issued by the United States Coast Guard, "the four crew members were hoisted aboard the second Coast Guard helicopter and transported to Petersburg for medical care." From Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, they were flown to Seattle in a C-130 Hercules for more advanced medical care.
The Elderberry and the Douglas Denman cutters were sent to help the Lydia Marie after it had requested search and rescue assistance from the helicopter crew. Meanwhile, a security perimeter was set up around the accident scene to protect any evidence.
The National Weather Service predicted near-freezing temperatures, a mix of snow and rain, and probable gusts of up to 20 mph in the region on Monday night, which may have contributed to the incident and is presently under investigation.
Coast Guard 17th District Commander Rear Adm. Megan Dean stressed, "Our priority is to provide the highest level of care possible for our injured members and their families." Dean was thankful to the Alaska Wildlife Troopers and the Petersburg Fire and Rescue team for their quick action and expert knowledge of the situation.
"We have opened an investigation into the cause of this event and will be forthcoming with the results as they become available," said Rear Adm. Dean.
1)Coast Guard crew members injured in the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crash Monday night on Read Island continue to receive medical care, and the search and rescue case for fishing vessel Lydia Marie has been completed. The two Coast Guard members reported to have serious injuries..— USCGAlaska (@USCGAlaska) November 15, 2023
The U.S. Coast Guard Alaska posted an update on X (formerly Twitter) about the condition of the wounded crew members. "Coast Guard crew members injured in the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crash Monday night on Read Island continue to receive medical care," the update read. "The two Coast Guard members reported to have serious injuries were listed in serious condition, while the other two members were listed in good condition with minor injuries."
The Coast Guard has expressed gratitude for the combined efforts of all interested parties during this critical situation, which resulted in the successful completion of the search and rescue operation for the Lydia Marie.
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