Search underway for missing ambulance aircraft near Kake

    Kake, Alaska (KINY) - An aircraft with Guardian Flight air ambulance service is missing and a search is now underway, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

    According to KTUU TV the flight was en-route from Anchorage to Kake Tuesday evening, but did not arrive as scheduled.

    The Coast Guard says its watchstanders in Juneau received notification from Sitka Flight Services that a Guardian Flight King Air 200 medical life flight was expected to land in Kake at 6:19 p.m., but the aircraft never landed. 

    Coast Guard officials say there are three people on board, and search crews are looking in an area about 20 miles west of Kake.

    The Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa is conducting the search near the last known position of the aircraft. Good Samaritan vessels are also searching the area, along with a Coast Guard helicopter based in Sitka.

    “Coast Guard crews are diligently searching for the missing aircraft and individuals,” said Lt j.g. Colin McClelland, Coast Guard Sector Juneau command duty officer. “We appreciate the assistance of the good Samaritan vessels and we hope we locate the aircraft and people soon.” 

    In a written statement Tuesday night, Randy Lyman, Senior Vice President of Operations for the company wrote "The Guardian Flight family is devastated to report that a company aircraft flying from Anchorage to Kake, Alaska has been reported missing".

    The company said three Guardian Flight employees, a pilot, nurse, and paramedic, were aboard the twin-engine plane.

    "Our thoughts and prayers go out to our fellow employees and their families during this very trying time" wrote Lyman, who added that Guardian Flight has initiated a stand down of the company's entire fleet until further information is available.

    Guardian Flight also said it will be cooperating fully with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration during the investigation.

    The Coast Guard said weather in the area was reported as light rain with overcast skies, 10 miles visibility, 7 mph winds and an air temperature of 36 degrees.

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