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Rescuers save missing hunter


August 20, 2004

Southeast Alaska - A Coast Guard rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka located and rescued a lost hunter Wednesday afternoon north of Klawock on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska after teaming with the Alaska State Troopers (AST), U.S. Forest Service officials (USFS) and volunteers. 

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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