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Wed, Dec 05, 2007

Medevac Helo Goes Missing In Alaska

Four Onboard Flight Over Prince William Sound

Weather continues to hamper the search for a LifeGuard Alaska helicopter that went missing late Monday afternoon transporting a patient to an Anchorage hospital from Cordova.

The Associated Press reports four persons were onboard the helicopter -- the patient, two flight crew, and a nurse. The last transmission from the BK117 (shown above) was received at 1718 local time Monday; there was no indication of distress, according to Coast Guard Lt. John McWhite.

Neither the Juneau RCC nor the Alaska RCC received an Emergency Locator Transmitting (ELT) signal from the helicopter, according to Sgt. Karima Turner with the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Blowing snow was reported along the flight path over coastal terrain in Prince William Sound. An HC-130 was dispatched to the aircraft's last known location Monday night, but low clouds and wintry conditions thwarted attempts at a visual search.

Conditions were even worse Tuesday, with the cloud deck reportedly at water level. Teams planned to resume an aerial search Wednesday, assisted by three Alaska State Patrol boats.

One leader of the search crew told the AP they'll keep looking for the medevac aircraft "until it's not plausible or reasonable to go on."

FMI: www.uscg.mil, www.providence.org/alaska/lifeguard

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