Army National Guard searches for and rescues two overdue snowmachiners
Heading from Brevig Mission to Nome
Soldiers clear the LZ after cargo is secured to an Alaska Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk. The Black Hawk is a single-engine, single main rotor helicopter used to transport personnel, supplies, and equipment. It has a cargo hook capacity of 8,000 pounds.
US Air Force file photo by Percy G. Jones
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and crew from the Alaska Army National Guard, with paramedics from the Nome Volunteer Fire Department onboard, searched for two snowmachiners yesterday and today after they were reported overdue.
The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center received a request for assistance from the Alaska State Troopers to search for the overdue men who were heading from Brevig Mission to Nome.
The Army National Guard accepted the mission and deployed a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from the 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment in Nome. They, along with ground search teams from Brevig Mission and Nome, were unable to locate the missing men.
A search and rescue team from the Nome Volunteer Fire Department found the two snowmachiners today in a cabin near Sinut River Bridge, while the Black Hawk and other ground teams were also searching.
The Army National Guard Black Hawk crew picked up the two hypothermic and exhausted men, one with mild frostbite and the other with severe frostbite. Three NVFD paramedics who had traveled out on the helicopter, assessed the men’s medical conditions, providing care en route. The men were transported to Nome and released to a waiting ambulance.
Ground teams from Brevig Mission and Nome assisted with the search both days.
The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center recommends that people take a personal locator beacon (PLB) or Satellite Emergency Notification Device (SEND) with them when traveling into the wilderness, even on short outings. The activation of a PLB or SEND will provide an immediate notification to emergency responders and markedly increase your chances of being rescued.