Coast Guard aircrew medevacs injured ATV rider from North Beach near Sitka, Alaska

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News Release


U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Alaska
Contact: 17th District Public Affairs
Office: (907) 463-2065
After Hours: (907) 723-5367
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Coast Guard aircrew medevacs injured ATV rider from North Beach near Sitka, Alaska

SITKA, Alaska -- A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka aircrew medically evacuated an injured all-terrain vehicle (ATV) rider from North Beach, near Sitka, on Thursday.

The MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew safely landed on the beach to conduct the medevac and took the patient to awaiting Emergency Medical Service personnel at the air station.

At 4:14 p.m., Coast Guard Sector Juneau Command Center watchstanders received the medevac request via VHF Rescue Channel 16 from a group of campers reporting that a 61-year-old male had a suspected spinal fracture following an ATV accident on the beach.

The individual was immobilized and reported having no feeling from the waist down. The campers moved the individual away from the tideline utilizing a tarp due to concerns with the rising ride.

"We're fortunate that the patient's friends were equipped with a radio that was capable of calling the Coast Guard to request assistance," said Lt. Cmdr. Wryan Webb, assistant operations officer, Air Station Sitka. "Their preparation turned what could have been an extremely painful and potentially hazardous transit back to Sitka into a relatively efficient medevac that brought the patient to a higher level of care in roughly one hour."

North Beach is located approximately 15 miles northwest of Sitka on Kruzof Island and is accessible only by boat or plane.