Army helicopters to rescue 7 stranded at remote Alaska camp

Army helicopters to rescue 7 stranded at remote Alaska camp

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska State Troopers said efforts continue to try to rescue seven people who have been stranded since last week at a cabin about 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of the Yukon River community of Emmonak in western Alaska.

Troopers said mechanical issues prevented a Coast Guard helicopter from launching Thursday, and no private helicopters were available for the day. Troopers said two U.S. Army helicopters from Fort Wainwright were expected to travel to the area Thursday with plans to “extract” the group Friday morning.

Troopers said they were notified the individuals were “stuck” at the camp around 5:15 p.m. last Friday and that a supply drop of food and needed medications was made on Sunday.

Troopers spokesperson Austin McDaniel earlier this week said the seven were on their way to Pilot Station from the Emmonak area when they decided to stop at the cabin for the night on Oct. 28.

“While they were there overnight, the river iced over. So the ice on the river is too thick to run a boat, and it’s not thick enough to run snowmachine there, and there’s no overland route to get to this spot,” he said Tuesday.

Authorities had been pursuing use of a helicopter to pick the individuals up, McDaniel said. Weather conditions between the area and some hub communities, however, had previously hampered efforts to deploy aircraft to get to the site, he said.

The group is “adequately supplied with food, water, shelter, and necessary supplies at this time,” according to a statement from the troopers on Thursday. No injuries have been reported.



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Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.