Coast Guard continues response to helicopter crash in Alaska during search and rescue case

Four injured Coast Guard members from Air Station Sitka, Alaska, are taken to the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Nov. 14, 2023, to receive medical care following the crash of a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter during a search and rescue case earlier in the night. The helicopter crash occurred Nov. 13, 2023, at approximately 11:05 p.m. near Read Island, Alaska, and is currently under investigation. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo)

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) — Coast Guard crew members injured in the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crash Monday night on Read Island continue to receive medical care, and the search and rescue case for fishing vessel Lydia Marie is complete.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the four service members from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka involved in the crash were transported to the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for a higher level of care via a C-130 Hercules aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak. 

The two Coast Guard members reported to have serious injuries were listed in serious condition, while the other two members were listed in good condition with minor injuries. 

The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Elderberry (WLI 65401) oversaw the de-watering of the fishing vessel Lydia Marie and escorted the vessel back to Petersburg. There, the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Pike (WPB 87365) conducted a post-search and rescue boarding with no violations, closing the original search and rescue case.

On-scene weather at the beginning of the search and rescue evaluation with the Lydia Marie was reported with wind speeds at 28-34 miles per hour and seas at four to five feet. Upon arrival at the scene of the crash, a second Coast Guard MH-60 rescue helicopter reported wind speeds of 46 miles per hour, visibility at one-quarter of a mile, and seas at one to two feet. 

Four people were confirmed aboard the Lydia Marie and their initial call for assistance was transmitted on VHF-FM channel 16 Monday night at approximately 8:06 p.m. 

The investigation into the cause of the helicopter crash is ongoing.