Coast Guard rescues 11 after plane crash

The downed plane. Credit: US Coast Guard

The US Coast Guard hoisted 11 people to safety after a plane crashed on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska on 10 July.

The flight, which belonged to Taquan Air, crashed at an elevation of about 2,000 feet into the side of a mountain. Luckily all 11 victims were left with only minor injuries, and the aircraft was equipped with an emergency beacon, meaning that Coast Guard teams were able to rapidly locate the crash site. The 11 survivors were then winched out of the crash site by two Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews and taken to a staging area with emergency personal onsite.

“This could have been bad,” US Coast Guard Petty Officer Charly Hengen said. “Thankfully, it was a good outcome. Even though these people did sustain some injuries, we are very thankful that all are alive and that we were able to get to them quickly even with the weather conditions.”

Taquan Air suspended all other flights on 10 July and stated that it was co-operating with authorities. The cause of the crash has not yet been disclosed.

“I am proud of everyone involved in this rescue and that we were able to get all 11 people to safety in a timely manner,” said Cmdr Michael Kahle, Coast Guard Sector Juneau SAR Mission Co-ordinator. “Cases like these exemplify the versatility of our aircrews and how capable they are to expertly perform rescues from the ocean or even mountainsides.”


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