Coast Guard retrieves downed helicopter from Southeast Island

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The U.S. Coast Guard on Friday recovered the downed MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter that crashed on Read Island on Nov. 13 during a rescue mission, in which the crew was responding to a boat taking on water in stormy seas.

The four aircrew members involved in the crash were medevaced to Seattle during the initial rescue effort, and have since been released from Harborview Medical Center.

Efforts to retrieve the aircraft included the Coast Guard, the U.S. Army’s Downed Aircraft Recovery Team, Forest Service, National Weather Service, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Petersburg Fire & Rescue, and independent contractors.

“We are grateful our four crewmembers were released from Harborview Medical Center and are on the road to recovery,” said Coast Guard Capt. Brian McLaughlin, head of the Crisis Action Team, who led recovery efforts. “We are also incredibly thankful to the many people and organizations who helped us recover the aircraft. Getting the helicopter to where our investigators can better examine the wreckage is the next step in the ongoing investigation.”

The Coast Guard also disestablished the security zone around the crash site, which has been in effect since the incident occurred. The investigation into the crash is still ongoing.

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