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Media Contact: (907) 463-2065

17th District Public Affairs

U.S. Coast Guard

News Release

Date: June 26, 2012

U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Public Affairs Kodiak

Contact: Petty Office 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg

Office: (907) 487-5700

Mobile: (907) 321-4505

Imagery Available: Coast Guard rescues six people from hovercraft in Alaska

Editors note: Click the image below to reveal high resolution photo

CORDOVA, Alaska Ð The crew of hovercraft ran themselves aground after damaging their prop while attempting to rescue four people who were stranded on a sand bar in the Copper River June 25th 2012. A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew was able to hoist the six individuals involved and safely transfer them to a nearby highway. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Kodiak.

CORDOVA, Alaska — An Air Station Kodiak MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew flies over a hovercraft on the Copper River after the operator beached it to avoid capsizing June 25, 2012. The crew of the Dolphin was able to safely transfer the six personnel from the hovercraft to a nearby highway. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Kodiak.

KODIAK, Alaska — A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, operating out of Cordova, rescued six people from a disabled hovercraft on the Copper River Monday.

 A 17th Coast Guard District command center watchstander received a distress call from a friend of the hovercraft operator stating the propeller was damaged and they had beached the craft on an island in the river to avoid capsizing. The hovercraft operator encountered the trouble after assisting five people whose inflatable pontoon boat ran aground on a sand flat on the Copper River near Cordova Sunday.

 The Dolphin crew arrived on scene at 8:46 p.m., safely hoisted the six people from the hovercraft and transported them to a nearby highway where they were picked up by the friend who had reported the distress situation.

 “This is one of the many times that the forward-deployed Dolphin in Cordova has been vital for a rescue case,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Luna, a watchstander with the 17th District command center. “Having a well-trained crew in an area with increased summer traffic absolutely saves lives.”

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