U.S. Coast Guard Members Receive Awards For Acadia National Park Rescue
When one is in the military, you never know where your day will take you!
That's exactly what happened to Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Mario Estevane, an aviation survival technician from Air Station Cape Cod, and for his efforts that went way beyond what was expected, he was presented the "Air Medal" in a ceremony this past Monday.
Back on October 8th of last year, a 29 year-old Canadian man fell from the cliffs along the Precipice of Champlain Mountain at Acadia National Park. The man had fallen about 30 feet into the rocks when he a friends were "free climbing" the side of the mountain, and ended up with a broken leg and other injuries. Due to where he landed, no one was really sure how to get him out of there.
A U.S. Coast Guard MH-60 helicopter aircrew from Air Station Cape Cod was dispatched to the scene, and when they arrived Estevane was "hoisted" to the base of the mountain to meet with Rangers and members of the Mount Desert Island Search & Rescue team there on the scene.
A U.S. Coast Guard press release describes the event further: "From the ground Estevane radioed the aircrew, which was still in flight, to deliver the helicopter’s rescue litter to the face of the cliff. He then employed a non-standard rescue technique, free climbing across the cliff face, while maneuvering the 45-pound litter over large boulders, down cliff ledges, and around thick brush. He used rappelling equipment and ropes provided by the ground team to lower the litter down 50-feet to a small ledge, where the helicopter crew could safely complete the hoist. Estevane then rappelled himself down to the ledge, where he met the ranger rescue team. While clinging only to scrub brush in high winds and driving rain 700-feet above the valley floor, he helped transfer the patient into the litter, prepare him for the night time hoist, and once inside the helicopter, remained at his side through the flight."
Other recognized members of the U.S. Coast Guard team were also recognized, and they are: Pilot Cmdr Steven F. Jensen, and flight mechanic Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel J. Cote, who each received Coast Guard Commendation Medals. Co-pilot Lt. Michelle A. Simmons was presented the Coast Guard Achievement Medal.
Well done everyone!