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Home : News
NEWS | March 4, 2014

Alaska Air National Guard rescues five near Knik River

By Sgt. Balinda O'Neal Alaska National Guard

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Airmen with the Alaska Air National Guard's 210th and 212th Rescue Squadrons rescued five individuals who were stranded near the Knik River after their all-terrain vehicle became stuck in an ice floe.

According to the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, the party then used a cell phone to contact Alaska State Troopers who was unable to respond because of night restrictions and the lack of hoist capability.

Support was requested from the Alaska RCC.

"Local rescue teams were unable to reach the victims because of thin ice," said Senior Master Sgt. Robert Carte, superintendent of the Alaska RCC, Alaska Air National Guard. "A helicopter extraction was decided to be the safest extraction method."

The Alaska Air National Guard responded by launching an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter from the 210th Rescue Squadron with a team of pararescue personnel from the rescue squadron.

The victims were hoisted one at a time, evaluated by pararescue members from the 212th Rescue Squadron and transported to a local medical facility, where they were released to AST.

After the rescue, squadron members returned to base.

"In this case, the stranded party was lucky to be in cell phone range to call for help," Carte said. "Due to limited cell service across the state, and because batteries sometimes die, we always recommend Alaskans file a trip plan with a responsible third party that can notify authorities if you become overdue."

For the mission, the members of the 210th and 212th Rescue Squadrons were awarded five saves.