An active duty member of the Coast Guard fell to his death near Buskin Beach on Wednesday, according to an Alaska State Trooper report.
EMS and Coast Guard Fire personnel arrived on the scene and attempted life saving efforts on Ricky Reese, 25, of Georgia, according to the report.
Additionally, military police, the Kodiak City Fire Department, Alaska State Troopers and other Coast Guard members responded to the scene, according to Sgt. Daniel Blizzard of the Alaska State Troopers.
Blizzard said that CPR was performed for over 45 minutes. CPR continued while Reese was transported to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead by a doctor.
An investigation revealed that Reese and a friend were hiking at the top of the cliff overlooking the ocean when Reese fell about 60 feet, according to the trooper report.
Blizzard stated that the incident was reported to state troopers at about 9 p.m. by Reese’s hiking partner, also an active-duty Coast Guard member.
Rescue forces struggled to reach Reese, who fell in a rocky area of Buskin Beach, according to Blizzard. Additionally, emergency personnel contended with an incoming tide, which required an expedient evacuation.
Blizzard reported that the Coast Guard Fire Department called for a helicopter evacuation because of the challenging conditions around 9 p.m. However, Reese was eventually evacuated on a stretcher because it was determined to be a quicker evacuation method.
Reese’s body has been transported to the State of Alaska Medical Examiner to determine the cause of death. The investigation will include a toxicology examination to determine whether or not Reese was intoxicated, according to Blizzard. The medical examiner report will be available in several months.
“Everything is pointing to an accidental fall,” Blizzard said.
The Coast Guard and State Troopers will conduct separate investigations of the incident, according to Blizzard.
Reese’s family members in Georgia have been notified according to Coast Guard protocol.
Coast Guard Public Affairs Officer Lauren Dean said the cause of death is still under investigation. Coast Guard policy limits the release of further information for 24 hours after the incident.