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Coast Guard coordinates airplane crew rescue (Near Ketchikan)

JUNEAU, Alaska – Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders coordinated the rescue of two people after their plane crashed between Niblack and Ketchikan Tuesday morning.

The watchstanders were notified at 11:17 a.m. that the DHC-2 Beaver airplane and crew were one hour overdue, which corresponded with a report of an emergency locator transmitter signal from a nearby aircraft.
The Coast Guard sent out an urgent marine information broadcast to alert boaters in the area, dispatched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka, a 47-foot motor life boat crew from Station Ketchikan, and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Naushon to assist. The Alaska State Troopers also responded by launching the patrol vessel Enforcer.

The crew of the good Samaritan vessel Niblack located two survivors from the downed airplane on a beach northeast of Niblack airport at 11:51 a.m.

Watchstanders coordinated with the Ketchikan Flight Service Station to ensure the rescue of the two airplane crewmembers. Two Temsco helicopters were sent to the location of the survivors prior to Coast Guard or State Troopers arriving on scene.

The Temsco helicopter crews retrieved the survivors from the barge Niblack Project and returned them to Ketchikan for medical attention.

“The timely overdue report allowed Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders to react quickly during this emergency,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jeremy Dawkins, an operations specialist with Sector Juneau. “Good Samaritans like the crew of the vessel Niblack and Temsco make the dangerous environment of Southeast Alaska safer, and allow us to conduct our work more efficiently.”