U.S. Coast Guard makes miraculous rescue in Alaska

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JUNEAU, Alaska (NEWS10) — The United States Coast Guard made a miraculous rescue early Friday morning after receiving word about a fallen climber who was injured.

According to rescue officials, the call center staff also known as Watchstanders in the Sector Juneau command center received a distress call from Alaska State Troopers to rescue a man who had fallen while climbing at Mendenhall Towers located outside of Juneau around 2:30 a.m. Friday morning.

“We were able to locate the climbers due to good communications via cell phone with Coast Guard Sector Juneau’s command center,” said Cmdr. Michael Frawley, aircraft commander for the case and commanding officer of Air Station Sitka. “This allowed us to then quickly locate the scene after we spotted one of the climbers at an approximate 6,000-foot elevation, waving a bright-colored jacket and a blinking light, while he stood on a sheer cliff.

The climber was lifted by a helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka and flown to an awaiting Capital City Fire and Rescue crew in Juneau.

He was then taken to an area hospital where he is said to be in critical condition.

“The actions of the injured climber’s partners in signaling our helicopter, and the vertical surface training and skill of my crew were the critical factors to this, frankly, miraculous rescue. We have been told his condition remains critical and we hope his situation continues to improve.”

Video footage provided by U.S. Coast Guard District 17 06.28.2019

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