Man Mauled by Bear is Rescued —36 Hours Later

After 2 failed attempts, National Guard sends plane, chopper, para-team in night-vision goggles

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 17, 2013 5:11 PM CDT

(Newser) – It took 36 hours and a rescue operation worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster to save a man mauled by a brown bear while hunting in Alaska. First, a local rescue team tried to find the man, who was attacked 35 miles north of Anaktuvuk Pass, but its helicopter couldn't get through the fog. Next, state troopers tried to reach him, but also failed to get to the remote location. Finally, the Alaska Air National Guard was called in, which sent a plane and a helicopter carrying pararescue teams, the Anchorage Daily News reports.

"The crews were operating during the darkest part of night-time hours on night vision goggles," the National Guard said in a statement. "The [plane] had to dispense illumination flares to help the helicopter crew get through the pass and find the site and guide them back through the pass on the return." The rescuers finally reached the man at 3am this morning—but it still wasn't over. When the helicopter reached the hospital, it was too foggy to land, so it had to go back to an Airforce base and send him via ambulance.

Killisnoo, left, an orphaned six-year-old Alaskan Coastal Brown Bear, and his brother Chiak play in the water in Sitka, Alaska.
Killisnoo, left, an orphaned six-year-old Alaskan Coastal Brown Bear, and his brother Chiak play in the water in Sitka, Alaska.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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