On Tuesday night, the Alaska National Guard rescued two men from a small crashed plane on Montague Island. The plane caught fire after the crash, but the two survivors managed to escape and hide out in their tent. This protected them from rain, where they waited until help arrived.
According to the Guard’s press release, the plane, a Cessna 172, crashed in the Gulf of Alaska. This occurred during takeoff in the afternoon from the southwest part of the island. The pilot later stated that there was some engine power loss before the plane went down. The men were able to contact family members through their satellite phone.
The Rescue Coordination Center received the signal before the plane caught fire. At first, a Pave Hawk helicopter had some difficulty in getting to the site of the crash, due to the weather conditions. A second helicopter was sent out, but ended up being called back in. Luckily, the first helicopter was eventually able to make their way to the men along the coastline.
The Montague Island crash resulted in only minor injuries for both men. While the plane was lost from the crash, there were luckily no fatalities.
However, it may bring back to light the difficulties and tragedies of previous crashes. This Montague Island crash comes a few months after the gruesome crash of the sightseeing plane in Alaska this past August. That crash did result in multiple deaths. During that crash, rescue operations had difficulty in arriving on the scene. If the National Guard and others cannot arrive in a timely fashion, the consequences can be much greater.
Thankfully, the rescue team was able to arrive to the men on Montague Island this Tuesday night. They were both taken via helicopter to Providence Alaska Medical Center for treatment.