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!