The U.S. Coast Guard issued the following press release regarding an emergency landing on Washington Island Sunday:
A Coast Guard air crew made an emergency landing on Washington Island in Northeast Wisconsin, Sunday morning after their helicopter experienced flight control malfunctions. At 8:31 a.m., the crew, aboard a Dolphin helicopter based out of a Traverse City Coast Guard Station contacted the operations center at the air station and declared their intent to execute an emergency landing to the beach on Washington Island.
According to Ferry Cabin News’s Richard Purinton, the four–member crew took off from Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City early Sunday morning, and intended to fly over Washington Island en route to a search and rescue operation near Ashland, Wisconsin. Approximately 50 minutes after take off and while near the western shore of Lake Michigan, the crew declared an in-flight emergency with air traffic control and safely landed on the beach of Washington Island.
Although no details regarding the nature of the in–flight malfunction have been released, Purinton spoke with aircraft commander Lieutenant Chris Breuer who confirmed the issue was not fuel related.
The helicopter’s wheels are rooted deep in the snow and can’t be flown out. As a result, it will most likely be lifted with a crane and carried back to the air station on a flatbed where engineers will perform the necessary repairs.
The crew was uninjured and luckily landed near the home of Jim and Janet Wilson, where they were able to keep warm.