The U.S. Coast Guard helped two hikers and their dogs off of Cupola Mountain in Sitka over the weekend.

The Sector Juneau Command Center received a call Sunday from Alaska State Troopers at 9:30 a.m. asking for assistance after one of the hikers reportedly had a severe ankle injury and was unable to hike out.

"The Sitka Fire Department initially received the call via cell phone from one of the hikers, reporting that she injured her leg," said Coast Guard Lt. Michael Klakring, who is a pilot for Air Station Sitka.

 
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Klakring said the crew arrived about five minutes after takeoff when they spotted the hikers. A rescue swimmer deployed, evaluated the injured hiker's condition and splinted the injured leg before hoisting both hikers and their two dogs off the mountain.

Coast Guard officials say an aircrew from Sitka flew the hikers to emergency medical personnel at a hospital in the area.

According to Coast Guard officials, the hikers and their dogs were at an elevation of approximately 2,300 feet. Since there was enough daylight to visually see the hikers, Klarking said crews were able to reach them that much easier.

Klarking said that a signaling device or distress beacon greatly increases a person's chance of being found which makes for a quicker rescue, but did not say whether the hikers in this case had one. 

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