Two men, seven dogs rescued in Alaska

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Rescue swimmer Erich Klinger shares the back of the helicopter with the two men and seven sled dogs he helped rescue.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Kodiak.)
Rescue swimmer Erich Klinger shares the back of the helicopter with the two men and seven sled dogs he helped rescue. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Kodiak.)

A search and rescue mission in a whiteout 10-miles outside of Seward, Alaska ended with two men and seven sled dogs safely hoisted onto a Coast Guard helicopter.

“We’ve been able to fit at least 20 people in those helicopters. So seven dogs and two men — we can do things like that,” Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Charly Hengen told the Anchorage Daily News.

An Air Station Kodiak helicopter was diverted from a training mission when the call came in that a helicopter went down on a mountainside on their way to Godwin Glacier. According to their flight plan, the helicopter, carrying the two men and the dog team, was on its way to Godwin Glacier which is famous for its dog sled tours.

“It was a challenging rescue due to the altitude and whiteout conditions. We had a tailwind and had to hoist using the helicopter wreckage as a point of reference. The crash was on a mountain side and it was very steep, so we lowered the rescue swimmer to the ledge to perform the hoisting,” said aircraft commander Lieutenant Commander Craig Neubecker.

Both men and their dogs were flown back to Seward where they were delivered to emergency personnel and reported in “good condition.”

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