Mount Jumbo rises up across from downtown Juneau on Douglas Island on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Mount Jumbo rises up across from downtown Juneau on Douglas Island on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Hunter with hypothermia rescued Saturday

Multiple organizations work together for ‘quick and effective’ rescue

A Juneau man was rescued Saturday morning after suffering symptoms of hypothermia while on a hunting trip on Douglas Island, according to Alaska State Troopers.

The 42-year-old Juneau resident’s name isn’t being released by troopers due to medical privacy reasons, AST spokesperson Megan Peters said Monday. Neither Troopers nor Bartlett Regional Hospital had an update on the man’s condition as of Monday afternoon.

The Juneau Police Department got a call early Saturday morning that one member of a four-man hunting party had symptoms of hypothermia and was unable to warm up, according to an AST dispatch. At about 6:45 a.m., JPD contacted Troopers, who coordinated a rescue effort that ended up involving Juneau Mountain Rescue and Capital City Fire/Rescue.

CCFR Assistant Chief Tod Chambers said Monday that the report they got stated that the man was in and out of consciousness. Chambers said it was initially unknown where exactly the hunting party was, but Troopers were eventually able to get in touch with the hunters and nail down a more specific location — one of the trails in the area of Mount Jumbo.

JMR Operations Section Chief Jackie Ebert, who ran operations for Saturday’s rescue, said the hunting party had camped there overnight. She said they were well prepared and acted quickly when they realized one of their members was showing signs of hypothermia.

“I think they did a lot right, just calling for help when they knew,” Ebert said. “I think they called pretty much at first light, when they realized they needed assistance.”

JMR personnel went into the area and found the hunting party, Chambers said. They evaluated him and started trying to warm him up, Chambers said.

“JMR, they did the work,” Chambers said. “They flat-out did the work. We were on standby for equipment and resources. They got on the trail, they got to the person, they did the assessment.”

The JMR responders decided that the hunter needed to be airlifted out, and a Temsco helicopter came to the scene and took the man back to the Temsco facility, Chambers said. According to a post from CCFR on Facebook, CCFR responders were on board the helicopter who helped get the hunter on the helicopter and continue to try and warm him up.

Ebert said they wanted to get the hunter out of there quickly, and it would have taken too long to hike him back down, so they elected to call a helicopter. From there, CCFR transported the man to BRH, Chambers said.

The man was conscious and talking to CCFR personnel as he was being taken to the hospital, Chambers said. The hunter had a fairly minor case of hypothermia, Chambers said.

Meanwhile on Douglas, the other three members were able to walk out under their own power along with the JMR responders, the AST dispatch stated. Chambers praised the ability of JMR, AST, Temsco and CCFR for working together and said the rescue was “very quick and effective.”


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


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