Coast Guard medevacs hiker mauled by bear on Afognak Island

An Air Station Kodiak helo medivaced a hiker who was mauled by a bear on Afognak Island on Friday. Photo courtesy USCG.

A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak medivaced a hiker on Friday after he was mauled by a bear on Afognak Island.

The 31-year-old man sustained multiple lacerations to his leg.

A member of the hiking party called the Coast Guard District 17 command in Juneau at approximately 1 p.m. Friday via satellite phone, requesting a medevac.

Watchstanders in the Sector Anchorage command center assumed the role of search and rescue mission coordinators and requested the Air Station launch the helo crew.

Coast Guard Public Affairs Specialist Nate Littlejohn is with Sector Anchorage.

“An MH60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Kodiak hoisted the man who sustained multiple lacerations to his leg. And brought him to Air Station Kodiak where he was placed under the care of a waiting EMS.”

Littlejohn said the Coast Guard helicopter crews are often the best choice for rescues such as this one.

“The Coast Guard in Alaska is best known for maritime search and rescue. But the fact is our helicopter crews often conduct inland search and rescue operations. Sometimes in critical situations when it’s a life or death situation, it really just comes down to who has the properly trained people and the right assets, closest to the emergency. And on Friday, that happened to be us.”

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Maggie Wall is a reporter at KMXT in Kodiak.

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