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Contact: Megan Richotte, 907.644.3639
Sunday evening, August 31, a party of four hikers was rescued from Copper Mountain in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Three of the hikers were off-duty Lake Clark employees. The National Park Service’s Alaska Region Communication Center received a distress call from a park radio at about 7:30 p.m. reporting that seasonal maintenance employee Brian Dodd had sustained a life threatening injury in a fall. Members of the party provided first aid, but due to unstable terrain they were unable to move the patient.
National Park Service and Alaska State Trooper personnel in Port Alsworth worked with the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center to rescue the hikers. The Air National Guard responded with an HC-130 aircraft and an HH-60 helicopter with Pararescue Jumpers. During the hoisting operation Kenton Hotsko, also a seasonal maintenance employee of Lake Clark on furlough from the Grand Canyon, sustained a significant head injury as a result of falling rock debris. Ultimately, all four hikers were brought aboard the helicopter and flown to Anchorage. Both Dodd and Hotsko are currently receiving treatment at Providence Alaska Medical Center.