JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Airmen with the Alaska Air National Guard’s 210th and 212th Rescue Squadrons rescued Tuesday morning three lost hikers who were suffering from possible hypothermia, 10 miles north of Palmer.
According to Alaska State Troopers, they received a phone call at 11:11 p.m. Monday notifying that three hikers had become lost on Buffalo Mine Road while hunting and hiking. AST reports that they were not dressed for the weather and concerned about hypothermia.
“Alaska State Troopers helicopters were unable to conduct the mission due to the night-vision goggle requirement and ground teams were unable to search because of poor weather conditions,” said Capt. Jeremiah Brewer, Alaska Rescue Coordination Center senior controller. “They [Alaska State Troopers] requested support from the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center at approximately 11:43 p.m. to rescue the hikers.”
The Alaska Air National Guard accepted the mission and at approximately 12 a.m., dispatched an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter from the 210th Rescue Squadron with a team of Guardian Angels from the 212th Rescue Squadron.
Guardian Angel teams are highly trained medical personnel made up of a pararescuemen and combat rescue officers who specialize in conducting high-risk rescue missions.
After arriving on scene, pararescuemen recovered the three hikers and flew them to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center where they were released at 2:13 a.m.
“Even if you are only planning a one hour hike, you should always be prepared to spend the night due to unforeseen circumstances,” Brewer added. “Supplies like a space blanket and proper equipment to start a fire can become an essential part of surviving.”