24 April 2014

Rotor Wash Saves Boater? Nope - The Story Has Changed

Well, the local media has several dozen eggs on its collectivist er, collective face this morning.
A reportedly suicidal man was rescued Tuesday evening from a raft sinking in the waters of Cook Inlet just outside Anchorage. Initial reports that an Air National Guard helicopter used its rotor wash -- the force of air pushed downward from the helicopter blades, which can kick up waves when poised over water -- to push the raft toward shore turned out to be false, and the rescue occurred despite a convoluted chain of communication between rescue agencies.  [emphasis added - Ed.]

The Alaska Dispatch (linked, above) admits the initial report was wrong. The others? They're reported the corrected story as if it were an entirely separate event, with literally no mention of the mistakes.

What a surprise. So what did happen?

According to Alaska State Troopers, the initial call came in shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday, when a man called 911 “reporting he was adrift in a raft and wanted to die,” in Cook Inlet between Anchorage and Fire Island, a 6-mile-long uninhabited island located 3 miles from the city. The Alaska State Troopers’ on-call search and rescue coordinator was contacted and then contacted the troopers’ helicopter pilot to see if they would be able to conduct a rescue.
... Positioning the helicopter about 15 feet offset from the raft, an elite pararescue jumper entered the water and was able to swim to the raft in the choppy water using his “super-athlete skills,” Ott said. The man was reportedly very cold, so the PJ loaded him into the hoist and he was plucked from the raft.
“There was a radio transmission as we were offsetting while we were looking at the survivor. We said on the radio, ‘our rotor wash is blowing him into Fire Island,’” Ott said. That message was apparently conveyed to the Coast Guard Command Center and made its way into a news release that was widely disseminated by local media ...

I guess this explains why there wasn't a video of the "prop wash saves guy" on Youtube. :)

I haven't always been complimentary toward the Alaska Dispatch, but applaud them for admitting the false report (not their fault). Well done, Dispatch!

23 April 2014

What Would We Do If ..?

Punish the T-Rex

Clearly, those scientists don't know the guys who can answer the "What caliber for T-Rex?" question from something from their gun safe.


Saved By The Wash

Rotor wash, that is.
Three rescue agencies were involved in rescuing a man aboard a sinking raft in Cook Inlet off Kincaid Park Tuesday night, with a helicopter crew using their aircraft’s rotor wash to push the raft ashore as it deflated.

According to a statement from U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer 3rd Class Diana Honings Tuesday night, the man was first reported by Alaska State Troopers to be in distress shortly after 7 p.m., between Kincaid Park and Fire Island.

Coast Guard watchstanders then alerted U.S. Air Force crews, which sent an HC-130 search plane and a UH-60 Black Hawk from nearby Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk from Air Station Kodiak was also dispatched to respond, until the Air Force crews arrived.

“The (Black Hawk crew) used the helicopter’s rotor wash to push the man’s deflating raft to shore where he was met by Alaska State Troopers at 8:19 p.m.,” Honings wrote. 

They saved the boater, and minimized any danger to the aircrew. Good thinking!

21 April 2014

Police Blotter Time: They Keep Coming Back

Liquor Law Violation & Trespass - Officer advised a stumbling drunk he was not allowed to enter or remain on any licensed premise in his current state of inebriation. [Then] Edward N. Lozon, 55 yoa, was arrested for Criminal Trespass II after he was found sleeping in a hotel lobby only 16 hours after having been issued a trespass advisement.

Welfare Check - Caller expressed concern about not having seen his brother all day. Officers found the brother at the library. He did not appear in need of any assistance.

Suspicious Person/Activity - An intoxicated, bawling woman begged assistance retrieving her dog from an Unalaska residence before hanging up, calling again and hanging up a second time. Officers responded to the residence and spoke with the sober homeowner, who said the drunk had been causing problems at the house but he had been able to convince her to sleep in a vehicle. He asked that officers please not wake her. 

I'm tempted to say something about sleeping dogs, but I'll let it go ...

Liquor Law Violation & Trespass - Lorenso S. Defang, 30 yoa, was asked to leave [a local] bar and initially did so. He returned for a pizza a few minutes later and was subsequently arrested for Criminal Trespass II.

Parole Violation - Tuan Anh Nguyen, 54 yoa, was arrested for Violating Conditions of Release when he returned to his bunkhouse room only a short time after having been released from jail and ordered by the court not to return to his lodging.