Newtok man rescued after snow machine trouble

by Angela Denning-Barnes on January 31, 2012

Joe Charlie seen from the Trooper plane. Photo courtesy of BSAR

Joe Charlie, age 22 of Newtok, was just a dark speck against a vast white landscape when he was spotted from an airplane. He had left his village Friday evening heading for Nunapitchuk. When he didn’t show by 9:30 Saturday morning, people notified the Alaska State Troopers.

Ambient temperatures were -30 degrees with high winds, creating severe wind chill conditions.

Troopers responded to the search via aircraft along with Bethel Search and Rescue volunteers, and they located Charlie’s snow machine about 15 miles east of Newtok. They followed foot tracks in the snow that headed back towards Newtok and eventually located Charlie about 7 miles from the village.

Troopers contacted a ground team in Newtok who was able to transport Charlie back to the village.

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