Sunday September 23rd, 2018 2:37AM

Alaska plane survivor: 'Thankful that I am alive'

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Ginny Hacker Eiseman had spent the weekend reeling in a bounty of colorful fish at Steamboat Bay Fishing Club on remote Noyes Island in southeast Alaska. She was returning home to Ketchikan when the unthinkable happened.

The chartered Taquan Air flight that she and 10 others were on crashed Tuesday on a rocky mountainside near Ketchikan. All survived and were rescued hours later by the U.S. Coast Guard.

"For those wondering I'm alive," she posted on Facebook after the rescue, noting that another woman with her was alive, too.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Charly Hengen said the downed aircraft had an emergency locator that aided a search effort complicated by visibility of roughly one-quarter mile.

The crash occurred on Prince of Wales Island, southwest of Ketchikan, according to the Coast Guard. The heavily forested island near the southern tip of the Alaska Panhandle is the fourth-largest island in the U.S. At 2,577 square miles (6,675 square kilometers), it's larger than Delaware.

Eiseman, a holistic health coach, expressed gratitude and even disbelief that they were found. She said the fog "was crazy."

"Those brave men put their lives on the line for us and it was so incredibly dangerous," she wrote on Facebook. "I know that we would have never lasted the night up there. They went above and beyond and I'll be forever thankful that I am alive and was able to hug my family tonight."

Those on board the plane — 10 passengers and a pilot — were brought to a staging area, where they were assessed. All initially were taken to PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center, though four were transferred to Seattle for further care, said Mischa Chernick, communications manager for the Ketchikan hospital.

Chernick could not provide details on the nature of the injuries, citing privacy rules. She said by email that six others from the plane were evaluated and released and that one was admitted to the hospital and was in fair condition.

The Coast Guard Tuesday said all on board the float-equipped de Havilland Otter were reported to have received minor injuries.

Eiseman praised the medical team who tended to her, including nurses and the doctor who "did a wonderful job with all the stitches and digging out pieces of metal."

"To the CAT scan tech who was amazing because I couldn't stop shivering and chattering my teeth and warmed the room up for me and was so kind," she wrote. "To Ethan the amazing lab tech who has a gift of getting blood painlessly out of cold dehydrated veins."

Eiseman, contacted by text message Wednesday, declined to speak to The Associated Press until the investigation is complete.

Taquan Air has said it is cooperating with investigating agencies. The company said the flight was a private charter.

Clint Johnson, with the National Transportation Safety Board in Alaska, said an investigator was interviewing Taquan officials and the pilot. A preliminary report on the incident was expected in the coming days.

Alaska State Troopers identified the pilot as Mike Hudgins of Ketchikan. Hudgins made the news in 2016 for rescuing a dog swimming in a busy channel.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Witness: Florida massacre suspect made threats about school
New documents released by Florida prosecutors show that a woman whose daughter worked with Nikolas Cruz at a discount store says he told her before the Parkland massacre that he might shoot people at the school and possibly the woman as well
4:43PM ( 20 minutes ago )
San Francisco's 1st black female mayor takes oath of office
The first black female mayor of San Francisco has made history as she took the oath of office
4:19PM ( 44 minutes ago )
Alaska plane survivor: 'Thankful that I am alive'
A woman who survived a plane crash Tuesday in southeast Alaska says she's thankful to be alive
4:16PM ( 48 minutes ago )
U.S. News
Croatia reaches World Cup for 1st time, beats England 2-1
Croatia is going to its first World Cup final
4:55PM ( 9 minutes ago )
The Latest: Andy Murray debuts as commentator at Wimbledon
Andy Murray made his debut as a BBC commentator for the Wimbledon quarterfinal between Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro
4:49PM ( 14 minutes ago )
With V-for-Victory sign, rescued Thai boys celebrate freedom
The 12 Thai boys rescued from deep within an inundated cave made two finger victory signs from their hospital beds in a moving video from the isolation ward where they are recuperating after an 18-day ordeal
4:36PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Firefighter's wife calls him best husband, dad
The wife of a Wisconsin firefighter killed in a gas explosion says she couldn't have asked for a better husband
3:51PM ( 1 hour ago )
Border Protection says NYC mayor crossed border illegally
U.S. Customs and Border Protection alleges that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio illegally crossed from Mexico into the U.S. while visiting the Texas border in June
3:42PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Isner reaches 1st Grand Slam semi at Wimbledon
John Isner beat Milos Raonic of Canada 6-7 (5), 7-6 (7), 6-4, 6-3 to set up a meeting with Kevin Anderson of South Africa in Wimbledon's last four
3:37PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
No shove, but Trump body language speaks to frosty relations
He didn't shove anyone this time, but President Donald Trump's body language at NATO summit suggests his relationships with key U.S. allies aren't exactly buddy-buddy.
2:22PM ( 2 hours ago )
San Francisco poised for history with 1st black female mayor
San Francisco will get its first black female mayor when London Breed takes the oath of office on the steps of City Hall
1:49PM ( 3 hours ago )
Nevada execution in doubt after drug company sues to stop it
A drug company has sued Nevada over plans to use its product in a lethal injection combination never before used in the U.S.
1:46PM ( 3 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Witness: Florida massacre suspect made threats about school
New documents released by Florida prosecutors show that a woman whose daughter worked with Nikolas Cruz at a discount store says he told her before the Parkland massacre that he might shoot people at the school and possibly the woman as well
4:43PM ( 20 minutes ago )
San Francisco's 1st black female mayor takes oath of office
The first black female mayor of San Francisco has made history as she took the oath of office
4:19PM ( 44 minutes ago )
2 ranchers pardoned by Trump arrive home in Oregon
Father and son ranchers who were pardoned by President Trump after becoming the focus of a battle about public lands flew home to Oregon and were greeted by family members and riders on horseback carrying American flags
4:12PM ( 51 minutes ago )
Firefighter killed in gas explosion, fire near Madison
Authorities say a massive natural gas explosion killed a firefighter and leveled portions of a city block in a southern Wisconsin community, including a bar the firefighter owned
4:10PM ( 53 minutes ago )
Late-life high blood pressure may harm the brain, study says
New research suggests that high blood pressure late in life might harm the brain
4:02PM ( 1 hour ago )