Old Harbor crash: three survive, two perish on Kodiak Island


Tthe U.S. Coast Guard deployed a rescue operation Sunday after receiving a report of a plane crash involving five individuals.

The incident occurred approximately three miles north of Old Harbor in Kodiak. Two people were reported dead, while three survivors were rescued and transported to medical facilities for urgent care.

The Coast Guard Seventeenth District command center watchstanders were alerted to the situation through a search and rescue satellite-aided tracking system at around 3:30 p.m. The distress signal originated from a Vertigo Air Taxi Piper Cherokee single-engine aircraft. Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center assumed the role of search and rescue mission coordinators.

At 3:49 p.m., a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew was diverted to the scene. The helicopter arrived at the crash site at 4:57 p.m. and hoisted two survivors to safety. The two survivors were reported to be in stable condition but had sustained injuries, and were taken to the Kodiak airport to be flown to Anchorage for medical care.

The Coast Guard helicopter crew promptly returned to the crash site and rescued another person who was said to be in critical condition. That individual was also transported to Kodiak Airport for transfer to Anchorage.

Two individuals did not survive the crash.

Erik Patterson, Operations Unit of Sector Anchorage, expressed his condolences: “Our hearts go out to these five individuals and the family and friends who are affected. I thank our aircrew, the good Samaritans, and the Alaska State Troopers for their quick response to this incident.”

The NTSB has launched an investigation to determine the cause of the plane crash.

Old Harbor is a village of about 200 people. The weather in the area is typically foggy. Today’s visibility is only a few hundred feet.


  1. We are so fortunate to have such wonderful First Responders watching out for us. When the Grim Reaper is coming at you, the sweetest sound in the world is the sound of chopper blades coming to get you out of there. First Responders— Guardian Angels— Same Same.

  2. Well said Sarge. Add to that sentiment the heroism of operating in perhaps the harshest environment where weather, mountains, and oceans come together as a formidable obstacle to survival, and you have the men and women of the US Coast Guard, Kodiak station.
    My hat is off and hand over my heart for them on this forth of July!

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