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Contact: Ingrid Nixon, 907-697-2619
BARTLETT COVE, AK 6:00PM AKDT – National Park Service (NPS) personnel continue to assist the U.S. Coast Guard in the search for three more possible survivors from a helicopter that went down Friday on a flight from Juneau to Yakutat. One 14-year-old was flown to Sitka for medical treatment after being rescued from the beach by Coast Guard personnel about three miles from Lituya Bay on the Gulf of Alaska coast within the boundaries of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. The youth was reported to be suffering from mild hypothermia. The whereabouts of the other three passengers who were aboard the private helicopter remain unknown.
On Saturday, an NPS aircraft patrolled the area as the Coast Guard cutter “Bailey Barco” searched the waters in the vicinity of the crash. With assistance of the Alaska State Troopers, two ground teams with dogs were deployed to search the shoreline. A temporary flight restriction is in effect to ensure safety of air operations in the search area.
The helicopter with two adults and two adolescents aboard went down sometime Friday on a flight between Juneau and Yakutat. Approximately 9:00PM Friday park officials received word from the Coast Guard that a search had been initiated for the aircraft, which had been reported overdue. Searchers were able to determine the last known position of the aircraft due to the signal of a GPS locator.
According to the Coast Guard, the downed helicopter was reportedly a new purchase from the factory and was being flown from Grand Prairie, Texas, to Wasilla, AK.