Those Stranded on Knik Glacier are Rescued

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

All of the sightseers and rescuers stuck on the Knik glacier have been flown to safety. This afternoon, a National Guard Pavehawk helicopter was finally able to land on the glacier and began ferrying people to the valley below. A group of tourists had been stuck on the glacier since their small plane crashed there Sunday.  Three were rescued yesterday and two more today. National Guard Spokesman Major Guy Hayes says they were in good shape despite spending several days on the glacier, partly because a four-man rescue squad was able to ski in Monday with provisions.

The rescue took a dramatic turn yesterday when an Alaska Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter landed on the glacier, but then rolled over and slid. That stranded seven guardsmen at the crash site who had been part of the rescue effort. Hayes says the helicopter is still on the glacier.

Hayes says the tragic events of the last few days are a reminder of the professionalism of the Alaska Air National Guardsmen. He says they’ve saved more than 40 lives this year.

Photos courtesy of the Department of Military & Veterans Affairs

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