Ugak Island, AK Helicopter Crash, Nov 1986
HELICOPTER CRASH KILLS SURGEON, 5 CREWMEN.
Kodiak, Alaska (UPI) -- A Coast Guard helicopter flying to a remote village to help a man injured in a football game slammed into a rocky island and burst into flames, killing a surgeon and the five others aboard, officials said.
The Sikorsky HH-3F chopper crashed into uninhabited Ugak Island late Sunday night en route to Akhiok, a settlement of about 90 Aleut villagers on the southwestern end of Kodiak Island, the Coast Guard disclosed Monday.
The crash site is some 40 miles south of the Coast Guard Air Station on Kodiak and about 275 miles southwest of Anchorage.
Special climbing teams flown to the rugged Ugak Island searched the wreckage Monday and found four bodies, Coast Guard Petty Officer Glenn Rosenholm said, adding, "There are no apparent survivors."
The flaming wreckage made it easy for searchers to find the crash site, but bad weather prevented a Coast Guard launch from landing on the beach, and steep terrain made the search difficult, Rosenholm said.
The cause of the crash was unknown.
"We just don't know how it happened," said Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Farmer.
News of the crash hit hard at the Coast Guard Air Station on Kodiak, said Lt. Terk Williams, a helicopter pilot who knew all six victims.
He described Ugak Island as a 1,050 foot rock rising out of the sea.
The dead were:
U.S. Public Health Service physician DAVID M. ROCKMORE, 52, of Cambridge, Pa.
Lt. MICHAEL C. DOLLAHITE, 38, El Paso, Texas.
Lt. ROBERT L. CARSON, JR., 38, Bostic, N.C.
KEVIN M. McKRACKEN, 25, Springfield, Ore.
WILLIAM G. KEMP, 27, Docena, Ala.
RALPH D. KING, 24, Arden, N.C.
Logansport Pharos-Tribune Indiana 1986-11-04