Coast Guard to present public service award to Sitka Mountain Rescue

Posted: Wednesday, January 27, 2010

KODIAK - Rear Adm. Christopher Colvin, commander of District 17 will present a Meritorious Public Service Award to Sitka Mountain Rescue at 3 p.m. today at Air Station Sitka, for saving the life of an injured hunter on Oct. 15.

Three members of Sitka Mountain Rescue located the injured hunter on a cliff face at an elevation of 2,800 feet. SMR members were then hoisted 50 yards down to a steep and unstable mountainside by an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka.

Upon reaching the victim, one of the rescue members and the hunter slid down the unstable face of the cliff, stopping just short of an 800-foot drop-off. Four additional SMR members were brought to the scene by the Jayhawk helicopter to assist in the eight-hour trek over rough terrain to the valley floor, where they were evacuated by the Jayhawk helicopter crew at first light.

The Coast Guard maintains several Public Service Awards to recognize private citizens, groups, or organizations for helping the Coast Guard carry out its missions. The Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Award is the second-highest Public Service Award.

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