ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Alaska Air National Guard says it rescued three people Monday night, with ANG aircraft and personnel responding to both a bear mauling near Paxson and a plane crash south of Fairbanks.
Both rescues were requested by Alaska State Troopers, who called the 11th Air Force’s Rescue Coordination Center at 5:05 p.m. to report the bear mauling victim at the McLaren River Lodge, 50 miles west of Paxson.
According to troopers spokesperson Megan Peters the victim of the mauling, 65-year-old Anchorage resident Donald Sandford, was hunting five miles north of the lodge and shot the bear which mauled him before it ran off into the woods. Sandford had to make his way back to the lodge to receive help.
An HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter and an HC-130 Hercules plane were sent to the area, with the Pave Hawk dropping off rescue personnel to stabilize Sandford before refueling and flying him to Anchorage in stable condition.