Medical helicopter missing in Alaska |

Medical helicopter missing in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) ” Authorities launched a search Tuesday for a medical helicopter that vanished while carrying a patient and three other people.

The LifeGuard Alaska helicopter, which was heading from Anchorage to Cordova, disappeared Monday sometime after 5:18 p.m., authorities said. The helicopter crew had made a satellite phone call around that time, but it was not a distress call, said Coast Guard Lt. John McWhite.

The helicopter’s last known position was Esther Island in Prince William Sound, about 75 miles southeast of Anchorage, said Lt. j.g. Johna Rossetti.

The Coast Guard was assisting the Air Force in the search, but bad weather hampered the effort overnight.

A Coast Guard cutter left Cordova just before 5:30 a.m. Tuesday and was making its way through Prince William Sound, Rossetti said. The Coast Guard also had a C-130 transport plane and HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter standing by at Cordova.

LifeGuard Alaska is an air ambulance service operated by Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage.

The names of those on board have not been released. Hospital spokeswoman Becky Hultberg said besides the patient, the crew included a pilot, paramedic and flight nurse.

Cordova is about 150 miles east from Anchorage by air.

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