Alaska Air National Guard rescues hypothermic hunter

  • Published
  • By David Bedard,
  • 176th Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Alaska Air National Guardsmen of the 176th Wing found and rescued a hypothermic hunter Sept. 20 at Paradise Lakes, about 25 miles northeast of Seward.

The individual left the party of three other people to seek shelter and was separated from the group. The party used a two-way satellite communication device to notify the Alaska State Troopers.

LifeMed Alaska evacuated the three other hunters. Alaska State Troopers reported the fourth hunter as missing and asked for assistance from the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

The AKRCC requested help from the 176th Wing and the on-duty search and rescue duty officer, Alaska Air National Guard Capt. Dan Warren, dispatched a 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter with 212th Rescue Squadron Guardian Angel pararescuemen (PJs) onboard.

The crew of the HH-60 flew to a cabin at Paradise Lakes where the other hunters said the missing hunter was headed. They found the hunter, landed and evacuated him to the Providence Seward Medical Center.

Warren credited the party for carrying a satellite communication device that allowed them to call for help beyond cell tower range. He urged people going into the outdoors to be ready for rapidly changing weather.

“Especially in September, Alaska always has a say,” he said. “Summer is over. Preparation is everything. Hunters and hikers flown into a location without road access should always carry a means to shelter with ample protection against changing wind, rain and temperatures.”

The 210th RQS, 212th RQS and the AKRCC were credited with one save for the mission.