Rescuers airlifted an Alaskan skier after he was nearly killed in a bear attack in the mountainside where a brown bear mauled him, Saturday.
US Coast Guard Rescues Skier After Bear Attack
According to the United States Coast Guard, the victim was with a group of skiers who were climbing up a mountain near Haines, Alaska for a backcountry ski outing. They also added that the skier sustained injuries to his hands and head as a result of the bear attack.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game stated that the bear was accidentally awoken by the victim. The brown bear was reportedly a mother that was protecting her cub and sensed danger prompting it to attack.
In an interview with CNN, Carl Koch, a state wildlife biologist said that the skier realized at some point during the attack that it would be better to just play dead. The biologist also said that this is a good idea in circumstances like this.
Moreover, the Coast Guard said that they deployed an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to locate the man and two other skiers. The helicopter from the Air Station Sitka found the skiers in the mountainside at around 1,600 feet, 10 miles northwest of Haines.
After lowering down a rescue swimmer to assess and evaluate the condition on the ground, the Coast Guard used a litter to lift the man to the aircraft. He was immediately taken to Juneau to be treated.
The two skiers with the victim were the ones who alerted the Coast Guard of the attack and they also gave first aid to the victim.
During the time of the rescue, the Coast guard said that the bear attack victim was alert. However, they did not have further details about his condition, CBC reported.
According to the helicopter's co-pilot, Lt. Cmdr. Will Sirokman said that the satellite communication device of the skiers was able to provide them with the exact elevation and GPS coordinates of the site where the attack happened.
Moreover, they also noted that the brightly colored fabric that the skiers used was very helpful in catching the attention of the helicopter. The Coast Guard also mentioned that it was one of the crucial things that helped them find the victim on time.
Meanwhile, the other two skiers went down the mountain on their own and did not need assistance as stated by the Coast Guard, NBC News reported via MSN.
Bear Attacks in Alaska
After the bear attack that almost killed the Alaskan skier, the state's Department of Fish and Game stated that these bear attacks are not common in the area.
A study in 2019 by the Alaska Section of Epidemiology only identified eight bear attacks that led to 10 details between the years 2000 and 2017.
However, in 2020, at least two people have died in a bear attack in Alaska. In July, a man was killed just near Hope, while in September, a man from Ohio who was on a moose-hunting trip was killed in a bear attack at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.