Weather Hampers Search for Medical Helicopter in Alaska

ANCHOARGE, Alaska — Volunteers joined a Coast Guard search Tuesday for a medical helicopter that vanished in snow and heavy wind while carrying a patient and medical crew over mountainous coastal terrain.

A Coast Guard cutter was searching for the LifeGuard Alaska helicopter, listening for signals from the helicopter s emergency beacon near its last known position over the southeast side of Esther Island in Prince William Sound, about 75 miles southeast of Anchorage.

Volunteers directed by Alaska state troopers joined the search in three fishing boats amid wind gusts of 60 mph.

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