A U.S. Coast Guard aircrew saved a man in Alaska who said he was attacked and constantly harassed by a bear for a week straight.
Coast guard officials said an aircrew was on their way to the city of Nome in the western part of the state on Friday when they noticed an SOS sign on top of a shack. After circling back toward the shack, they noticed a man waving two hands in the air, which is considered an international distress signal.
When the crew landed, the man told the crew he wanted medical care after being attacked by a bear. He said after the attackhe made his way to the shack, but then the bear came back and "harassed him every night for a week straight."
“At some point, a bear had dragged him down to the river,” Lt. Cmdr. Jared Carbajal, one of the pilots, told the New York Times. “He had a pistol. He said that the bear kept coming back every night and he hadn’t slept in a few days.”
The man appeared to have bruising on his torso and an injured leg, according to the Coast Guard. The crew then transported him to Nome for medical treatment.
It isn't uncommon for residents of Alaska to run into bears. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Games, all three species of North American bears — black, brown and polar — reside in the state and "you will never be far from one; Alaska is bear country."
According to Alaskan health officials, 68 people in the state were hospitalized and ten people died from bear attacks from 2000 to 2017. In June, a woman in Alaska went missing for over a day after she reported she was attacked by bears.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bear attack in Alaska leads to U.S. Coast Guard rescue