August 20, 2004
The Coast Guard aircrew began searching for 53-year-old Sherri Preston, reported missing for about 48 hours, after receiving a request from an Alaska State Trooper official in Ketchikan Wednesday morning.
The Jayhawk helicopter crew searched a densley wooded area near Thorne Bay about 12:30, and as the crew began transiting to Ketchikan to refuel, the flight mechanic spotted the word "HELP" spelled out in a muskeg meadow.
The rescuers located Preston at 2:41 p.m., landed, and placed the slightly injured woman aboard the aircraft. They transported Preston to the incident command post located on a USFS road near Control Lake on Prince of Wales Island.
The fatigued Preston suffered hypothermia and a possible sprained ankle.
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