Stevens Crash: A Challenging Rescue Mission
The same crash that took the life of former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens proved a challenging search and rescue mission for the Coast Guard and Air Force, according to new reports early Wednesday. The crash occurred Monday night in high terrain 17 miles north of Dillingham, southwest of Anchorage. The weather was reported to be foggy and rainy, with low ceilings and visibilities. Air Force rescue personnel told ABC News Wednesday morning that two EMTs who hiked into the crash site and stabilized the survivors made their job much easier. In addition to Stevens, four others were killed in the crash, but three survived, including former NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe, 54, and his son, Kevin.
Photos of the crash site taken on Tuesday revealed that the aircraft came to rest in a wooded mountainous area with both wings detached by the crash impact, although the aft portion of the fuselage and the empennage appear relatively intact.
Rescue personnel told ABC News Wednesday that the fact the some of the passengers were wearing fishing waders may have been in a factor in their survival, since the waders act as survival suits, conserving body heat and staving off shock.