U.S. Coast Guard rescues man in Haines, Alaska, after bear attack

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The United States Coast Guard hoisted a man by helicopter from the backcountry near Haines, Alaska, this weekend after he was mauled by a bear.

In a news release sent late Saturday, the coast guard said that the man suffered injuries to his head and hands after being attacked by a bear during a backcountry ski outing.

Watchstanders in the coast guard's Juneau command centre got an agency assist request for the helicopter from Alaska State Troopers at about 3:20 p.m. Saturday.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka found the man and two other skiers in his party about 16 kilometres northwest of Haines about 487 metres up, just above Chilkoot Lake.

Watch the U.S. Coast Guard's rescue video here:

The crew took care of the man during the transit to Juneau for further treatment. The other two skiers did not need assistance and continued down the mountain on their own.

"The other two members in the patient's skiing party had the proper equipment and knowledge to assist with his injuries and communicate for help in 15 degree temperatures with sunset approaching," said Lt. Cmdr. Will Sirokman, co-pilot for the case in the release.

Sirokman added that members of the party had brightly coloured fabric to signal to the helicopter, and a satellite communication device that were crucial to helping the crew locate them in a timely manner.

The man's condition was not known on Saturday evening, but the coast guard office said he was responsive and talking at the time of the hoist. CBC was unable to reach them for further comment on Monday morning.