Coast Guard assists Air National Guard in Bering Strait Rescue

KODIAK, Alaska -- The U.S. Coast Guard assisted the Alaska Air National Guard with the rescue of a Norwegian kayaker in the Bering Strait Wednesday.

The Coast Guard Command Center in Juneau received a call at 9 p.m. Tuesday from the Alaska State Troopers reporting Audun Nordhus, a 49-year-old man, in distress 10 miles southeast of Little Diomede Island. Nordhus's 10-foot rowboat was blown off course and he requested assistance.

The Rescue Coordination Center in Anchorage launched an HC-130 Hercules aircraft and an HH-60J Pavehawk from Alaska Air National Guard to conduct the rescue. At approximately 4:21 a.m. the Pavehawk crew hoisted Nordhus.

"This is the second Bering Sea kayaker rescue in five days," said Capt. Michael Inman, chief of response for 17th Coast Guard District. "The success of these long range rescue missions are a credit to the tremendous efforts and cooperation of the Air Force and Coast Guard command centers and aircrews."

Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak launched an HC-130 Hercules aircraft at 1:42 a.m. The Hercules crew arrived on scene to assist with the rescue if needed.

Nordhus was taken to Nome by the Pavehawk where emergency medical personnel were waiting.

Reported weather in the area was winds of 8 to 11 mph and an air temperature of 53 degrees.

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