A Project of the Coast Guard Aviation Association

The Bluebird Rescue

By Chris Whiddon

On the night of December 10, 1987, Captain Jim Blades and his 6-year-old son, Clint, made a distress call to the Coast Guard after fierce winds and waves forced their fishing vessel, the Bluebird, onto rocks off the coast of Sitka, Alaska. A rescue helo was sent out and immediately encountered heavy snow and severe turbulence. This video records the first-hand accounts of the aircrew and Clint Blades.

Crew of HH3F 1486

CDR John Whiddon, HH3F Pilot
CDR Greg Breithaupt, HH3F Pilot
Senior Chief ASM Jeff Tunks, Rescue Swimmer
AD1 Carl Saylor, Flight Mechanic
AT3 Mark Milne, Radioman/Navigator

Aircrew awarded the ANA Award for Outstanding Achievement



Crew of HH3F 1486
Crew of HH3F 1486