780 AM | 96.1 FM | “Yours for Western Alaska”

Two Rescue Missions In One Day for Coast Guard Crews Out of Kotzebue Location

Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter in Kotzebue

The Coast Guard crews deployed in Kotzebue, located and rescued six people earlier this week.

On Monday, a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew helped rescue four people who were stranded on a disabled vessel in Imuruk Lagoon. According to a Coast Guard release, the vessel’s outboard engine had caught fire, but those on board put out the blaze and proceeded to use a tarp as a sail. Eventually the boaters beached the skiff on the south side shore of Windy Cove.

Volunteer search and rescuers from Brevig Mission arrived on the scene and transported the four boaters to Teller in reportedly healthy condition.

That same evening, a second Coast Guard crew, out of Kotzebue’s forward operating location, found a man and woman about 26 miles south of Point Hope. The pair had left Point Hope around 4am Monday morning and were expected to reach Kivalina by 10pm that evening. However, the two travelers did not reach their destination and waited in a cabin until search and rescue teams located them.

Lt. Dan Hendricks, the command duty officer for the 17th District, says operating out of Kotzebue, “enhances the Coast Guard’s operability by allowing pre-staged flight crews from Air Station Kodiak to save critical time and resources when responding to missions in the Arctic region.”

According to the Coast Guard, their Kotzebue location operates out of the Alaska Army National Guard Hangar and has two Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters with supporting air and ground crews.