An Alaska Coast Guard hoisted a man to safety near Haines, Alaska Saturday after he was mauled by a bear.
According to a release, the man suffered injuries to his head and hands after the attack while backcountry skiing. Alaska State Troopers called on the U.S. Coast Guard for assistance in the rescue around 3:20 p.m.
The man and two other skiers who were with him were found about ten miles northwest of Haines, just above Chilkoot Lake. A helicopter crew flew the man to Juneau for treatment.
According to the Coast Guard, the injured man was talking and responsive at the time of the rescue.
“The other two members in the patient’s skiing party had the proper equipment and knowledge to assist with his injuries and communicate for help in 15 degree temperatures with sunset approaching,” said Lt. Cmdr. Will Sirokman, in a written statement. “Their satellite communication device provided the precise GPS coordinates and elevation of their location. Equally important, they had brightly colored fabric to signal the helicopter as we approached. This was absolutely crucial to us finding them in a timely manner.”
Officials say, the two other skiers were uninjured and continued down the mountain themselves.