Coast Guard MH-60 Helicopter Crashes During Alaska Rescue Op

Four crew members on board the Jayhawk were injured, two seriously, in the incident.

Four injured Coast Guard members from Air Station Sitka, Alaska, were taken to the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle to receive medical care following the November 13 crash of a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter during a search and rescue mission. [Courtesy: U.S. Coast Guard]

An investigation is underway after a U.S. Coast Guard MH-60 Jawhawk helicopter crashed during a search and rescue mission in Alaska, injuring all four crew members, two seriously.

The accident occurred late Monday night on Read Island in southeastern Alaska as the aircrew dispatched from Air Station Sitka responded to a distress call from a fishing boat, the Lydia Marie. 

Following the crash, rescue crews from Alaska Wildlife Troopers and Petersburg Fire and Rescue responded to the site shortly before 1 a.m. AKST Tuesday. Less than an hour later, a second MH-60 rescue crew from Air Station Sitka also arrived, according to the Coast Guard. 

The Coast Guard said on-site wind speeds at the beginning of the search and rescue were 28-34 mph and seas were at 4-5 feet. Upon arrival at the crash site, the second MH-60 rescue helicopter reported wind speeds of 46 mph, visibility at one-quarter of a mile, and seas at 1-2 feet. 

The injured crewmembers were transported by the second Jayhawk to Petersburg, Alaska, for medical care then sent by a C-130 Hercules to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, the service said.

As of Tuesday, two of the injured Coast Guard crewmembers were listed in serious condition, while the other two were in good condition. 

“Our priority is to provide the highest level of care possible for our injured members and their families,” said Rear Admiral Megan Dean, commander of the Coast Guard’s 17th District. “We are grateful for the swift response and professional skill shown by the Alaska Wildlife Troopers and Petersburg Fire and Rescue members who answered our call for assistance during this critical time. We have opened an investigation into the cause of this event and will be forthcoming with the results as they become available.”

Kimberly is managing editor of FLYING Digital.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get the latest FLYING stories delivered directly to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter