KODIAK, Alaska â€” A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Forward Operating Location Barrow rescued two people from a plane crash 160 miles south of Barrow Friday night.
“Rescuing two people in the Arctic is exactly why we need to maintain a Coast Guard presence in this remote region during the summer months,” said Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander, Coast Guard 17th District.
The Coast Guard received a request at 7:30 p.m. for an agency assist from the Air Force command center in Anchorage to investigate the source of an electronic location transmitter registered to a single-engine airplane detected south of Barrow. The Air Force received notification of the ELT signal at 6:55 p.m. from the U.S. Mission Control Center and determined the Coast Guard helicopter in Barrow was the closest resource to investigate the signal.
The Coast Guard launched the rescue crew from Barrow who arrived on scene approximately an hour later. Upon arrival the crew located father and son in good condition with no injuries, landed and took them aboard the helicopter. They were returned safely to Barrow at 11:55 p.m. where they were transferred to Barrow emergency medical services.
“This rescue also highlights the importance of our partnerships with our Department of Defense counterparts,” said Ostebo.
FOL Barrow is part of Arctic Shield 2012, which focuses on operations, outreach and an assessment of the Coast Guard’s capabilities above the Arctic Circle. The FOL in Barrow consists of two Kodiak-based MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters with supporting air, ground and communications crews. Air Station Kodiak is more than 900 miles from Barrow and having the FOL in place increases the Coast Guard’s readiness and allows for faster responses to emergencies in the Arctic region.