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Thread: Need help with a rescue mission of sorts

  1. #1
    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Default Need help with a rescue mission of sorts

    Have some friends caribou hunting south of the Denali Highway. They have been stranded by high water for days now, and are running low on food, potable water, and fuel for their machines. Troopers won't help because they have food to survive on (caribou), but they are stuck until the water recedes enough to cross back out. I'm not real familiar with the area, but they are across Butte Creek. Not sure if it's navigable by river boat, but that may be an option to ferry stuff out. Right now they could really use fresh food and water.

    If anyone has ideas or knows the area, let me know. We're talking about trying to organize an air-drop of essentials if we can work it out. A water filter, staple food items, and fuel are their big concerns. There was already one hunter in another party swept away and presumed drowned, so the situation is pretty serious.

    Thank you.

    Scott

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Do you have lat/long coords for them?

    Yes, the water levels all in that area are serious.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with a rescue mission of sorts

    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    Do you have lat/long coords for them?

    Yes, the water levels all in that area are serious.
    I don't have exact coordinates yet. Just got word the Troopers are, after the wives contacted KTUU, going to drop some food and water tonight. We'll see how the situation looks in the morning.

    Standing by for now. I'll see if anyone has coordinates.


    Sent on my communicator

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    There was already one hunter in another party swept away and presumed drowned, so the situation is pretty serious.
    I went in across Butte Creek on Saturday morning, 15 September. The creek was just a bit high. My camp was literally smashed by high winds that night, and everything got soaked. I was done. By noon on the 16th, I got back to Butte Creek to see that it had risen nearly a foot overnight. I took the chance and had no problem, and I was extremely happy to get out of there intact. There were still friends of mine back in there farther than I had gone. Your report of one person swept away is disturbing. I haven't seen anything on the news yet. I hope everybody back there is okay.

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with a rescue mission of sorts

    Troopers won't verify the death yet.

    Sent on my communicator

  6. #6

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    Last month there was a helicopter regularly travelling through the valley I hunt. I think it's serving crews doing studies on the Watana Dam. I don't know if they're still flying through there. They clearly weren't the last weekend I was there because it wasn't suitable flying weather. Hell, I shouldn't have been wading through the mud/water, myself.

    I think they were flying out of the Alpine Lodge. Even if not, the folks there might know more about this bird. You may be able to get some help from a chopper that's already in the area and flying around. The phone number at the lodge is 743-0565 or 743-0754.

    Good luck.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    There was also a helicopter crew staged at Tangle Lake Lodge supporting some mining in the area. Might be worth a try to see if they can make a run that far.

    Water will still be high for a while I'm afraid.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    If you are real worried you can call any pilot who has a private lincese to take you up and survey the spot where they are at. Why are you waiting on others to do this for you? <Just curious> I think its about $100.00 an hour, maybe more but these are your friends so if it costs 2000.00 why are you waitng for somebody to do it for you? Get some BALLS and Go RESCUE THEESE GUYS. Money is the only thing stopping you, If you don't have it , FIND IT.

    Man I don't want to sound like a a--hole but there alot of people in dire straits around that area right now and some folks have to depend on people like you to get them out.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Be sure to coordinate any helicopter activity with the troopers beforehand. The law prohibits the use of helicopters in any connection with hunting and an effort of that kind might be misunderstood without proper clearance in advance. It's probably not a problem, but you want to do it correctly if you go that route.

    Sounds like with the food and water drop your guys might hold a bit longer, but it's good that you're on it. Are the troopers dropping a water filter (and how come the guys don't have one with them already...) How far off the road system are they?

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I'm going to move this one to the hunting forum as more people will see it there. I hope to hear some positive news in the day to come. If things get dire and the weather improves, I'd be willing to consider flying up to do a food/fuel drop.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I'm sorta close- let me know if I can assist.

    Lot of bush pilots flying out of Delta who might make the run.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock_skipper View Post
    If you are real worried you can call any pilot who has a private lincese to take you up and survey the spot where they are at. Why are you waiting on others to do this for you? <Just curious> I think its about $100.00 an hour, maybe more but these are your friends so if it costs 2000.00 why are you waitng for somebody to do it for you? Get some BALLS and Go RESCUE THEESE GUYS. Money is the only thing stopping you, If you don't have it , FIND IT.

    Man I don't want to sound like a a--hole but there alot of people in dire straits around that area right now and some folks have to depend on people like you to get them out.
    I posted this within minutes of finding out. Don't know many pilots willing to go on night missions with no coordinates. I don't have many other options at the moment, but thanks for your input.

    To everyone else, I'll update whenever I get new info.

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    Butch at Gracious House has a airplane and he is only a couple miles away his phone # 822-7207 or 259-1111. It been a while so they may not be good #. You could give him a C.C. # and he could do a fly over. If he not there try the guide/pilot in Cantwell.

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. This has developed quickly but figured if anyone would/could help or know how to, it'd be the folks on here. As usual, I haven't been disappointed.

    As of right now, everyone in the party I know is ok, just stranded. Why they don't have a water purifier I have no idea. Probably went in carrying what they thought would be enough, the usual unpreparedness that gets people in trouble. Details have been sketchy, and most of what I am receiving is second-hand information from one of the wives of one of the guys out there. They have a sat phone with a dying battery, so communication has been minimal.

    We do know the Troopers were going to drop food and water tonight. They are expecting water levels to drop in the next day or two, and they may be able to safely get out on their own.

    Still have not heard any official word on the reported drowning from another party out there. I probably shouldn't have mentioned it in retrospect, without any confirmation or details. I apologize for making anyone worry and hope the report is wrong.

    If things don't improve tomorrow, at least now I have several numbers and names of people to call who might be able to get in there ASAP.

    Thank you all.

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    I came up with a approximate GPS location of the trail crossing Butte Ck. five miles south of the Susitna Bridge. If this is where there at I do not remember any place to drop food/water unless there using a helicopter.

    63 03.366 147 34.265

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    Member .300wby's Avatar
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    Supposed to be something of a report on missing hunter at 10:00, ch.2 news. We came across Butte on the 20th, middle of the night and it was way hairy! Figured anyone after that would be in a bind. Bad deal, hope all works out for those still out there.

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    You could also give a call to Lance at Wing and a Prayer Aviation in Cantwell. It wouldn't be much of a flight for him to drop a water purifier and food. (907) 768-1137
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Ok all this talk about a water purifier is driving me nuts. Could someone please explain to me what we did prior to the invention of water purifiers?

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broncoformudv View Post
    Ok all this talk about a water purifier is driving me nuts. Could someone please explain to me what we did prior to the invention of water purifiers?
    We got the runs!!!

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Catch rain water. The news says there are 60 people stuck and some are refusing to leave because AST will not bring anything out (guns, gear or fame) other than the humans. I have no issue with AST's stance. A group of 60 people can do amazing things and aren't really in danger. I've been stranded across Butte Creek myself for a couple days. It happens. I read a couple books and holed up until the creek dropped.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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