United States Coast Guard received a request for assistance from the Alaska State troopers on Tuesday evening. Troopers had contacted the Coast Guard is reporting that there was a man in distress in a deflating raft in Cook Inlet near Anchorage.
According to Alaska State troopers, they had received a 911 call from a 44-year-old Anchorage man at 6:19 PM, that man contacted troopers while adrift in a raft in Cook Inlet between Anchorage and Fire Island. The man communicated to the troopers that he wanted to die.
In response to the request for assistance, Coast Guard sector Anchorage watch standers issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast where they requested assistance from other agencies or Mariners in the area. Sector Anchorage also directed the launch of a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from air Station Kodiak.
Before the arrival of the Coast Guard helicopter from Kodiak, personnel from the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson reported that they had two aircraft, an Alaska Air National Guard Hercules and an Air National Guard HH–60 Pave Hawk helicopter approximately 5 min. from the scene.
After briefly diverting to JBER to pick up a pararescueman from the base, the Pave Hawk helicopter continued on to the scene. Once there, the pararescueman deployed into the water, then both were subsequently hoisted back into the helicopter.
After the rescue, the helicopter departed to Providence Alaska Medical Center, where the man was evaluated and treated for hypothermia by hospital staff and also contacted by troopers.
“This was a complex case that was only successful because of the close coordination with our partners in the Air Force, Air National Guard and Alaska State Troopers,” said Lt. Matthew Mitchell, Sector Anchorage search and rescue mission controller. “We frequently work with our search and rescue partners throughout the state to respond to distress cases as quickly and efficiently as possible.”