Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod holds Air Medal ceremony for heroic, lifesaving efforts

Petty Officer 2nd Class Mario Estevane, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer stationed at Air Station Cape Cod, is presented the Air Medal for rescuing a 28-year-old man who fell while free climbing in Acadia National park, Monday, June 19, 2017 in Cape Cod. The Air Medal was presented by Rear Adm. Steven Poulin, commander, First Coast Guard District and Representation William Keating (D-MA-9). (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Barresi)

BOURNE – Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Mario Estevane, an aviation survival technician from Air Station Cape Cod, received the Air Medal Monday for his heroic actions in 2016 on a 1,000-foot cliff face in Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine.

On Oct. 8, 2016, a U.S. Coast Guard MH-60 helicopter aircrew from Air Station Cape Cod launched to rescue a 28-year-old male climber who fell from a 50-feet.

When the aircrew arrived on scene, Estevane was hoisted down to discuss the rescue plan with the leader of the ranger team on scene.

From the ground Estevane radioed the aircrew, which was still in flight, to deliver the helicopter’s rescue litter to the face of the cliff.

Representative William Keating (D-MA-9) addresses the crew of Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod during an award ceremony, Monday, June 19, 2017, in Cape Cod. The crew was honored for saving a 28-year-old man who was injured while free climbing in Acadia National Park in Maine. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by PA3 Andrew Barresi)

He then employed a non-standard rescue technique, free climbing across the cliff face, while maneuvering the 45-pound litter over large boulders, down cliff ledges, and around thick brush.

He innovatively used rappelling equipment and ropes provided by the ground team to lower the litter down 50-feet to a small ledge, where the helicopter crew could safely complete the hoist.

Estevane then rappelled himself down to the ledge, where he met the ranger rescue team.

While clinging only to scrub brush in high winds and driving rain 700-feet above the valley floor, he helped transfer the patient into the litter, prepare him for the night time hoist, and once inside the helicopter, remained at his side through the flight.

Also recognized were: Pilot Cmdr Steven F. Jensen, and flight mechanic Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel J. Cote, who each received Coast Guard Commendation Medals. Co-pilot Lt. Michelle A. Simmons was presented the Coast Guard Achievement Medal.


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