Sgt. Edward Eagerton ALASKA STAR
Helicopter Rescues 5 Stuck in Mudflats on JBER
October 23, 2013
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  • Five people who drove onto mudflats on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and got stuck were rescued by helicopter Saturday, Oct. 19.

    A husband and wife got stuck while off-roading in a jeep on Route Bravo Road, said Air Force Master Sgt. Richard Matteson, a battalion chief with the 673rd Civil Engineering Squadron.

    Realizing they were unable to get their vehicle out of the mudflats, the couple put out a call for help on Facebook, Matteson said. Good Samaritans responded, but soon found themselves stuck as well.

    The situation soon became dangerous when a high tide reaching up to 30 feet came in around 8 p.m., Matteson said.

    The occupants of the first jeep abandoned their vehicle when the rising tide submerged it. They took refuge in the second jeep, stuck further back in the mud.

    Further complicating the rescue effort, the drivers had unknowingly entered a munitions impact area.

    The tide had risen to the doors of the second vehicle and water began flooding in, Matteson said.

    The 210th Rescue Squadron launched a HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter with two Guardian Angels from the 212th Rescue Squadron from JBER at 11:12 p.m.

    The rescue team hoisted the four adults and one child out of the vehicle and flew them to the hospital on JBER, where they were released without injuries to medical personnel.

    For their part in the rescue mission, the 210th and 212th Rescue Squadrons were awarded five saves.