Somewhere on the great wild coast of Alaska, four Alaskans on the trip of a lifetime dropped into the icy waters when their helicopter went down on Friday evening. One survived — a 14-year-old boy, who made it to shore and is now recovering in an Anchorage hospital.
The Coast Guard suspended its search Sunday afternoon for the others who were nowhere to be found near Lituya Bay, one of the most majestic places on earth.
The Coast Guard, Alaska Air National Guard, Southeast Alaska Dogs for Ground Search and Civil Air Patrol searched a total of 788 square miles over more than 36 hours. Search conditions have been good; the weather today is agreeable, with a high of 61 degrees and winds at about 10 mph.
“After maximizing search efforts with air, surface and shoreside assets, we suspended the search today,” said Capt. Darran J. McLenon, chief of response for the 17th Coast Guard District. “One survivor is with his family and continues to be evaluated at a hospital in Anchorage. The Coast Guard prays for his full recovery and grieves with the family and friends of the crash victims.”
The helicopter was brand new, being brought home to Alaska from the dealer in Texas. On board were three members of the Pepperd family: Father Josh Pepperd, sons Aiden and Andrew, ages 14 and 11, and co-pilot David King. Only Aiden has evidently survived the crash.
Read the original story of the crash here: