Search and rescue teams help rescue several people

by Mark Arehart on February 20, 2013

This past weekend a Hooper Bay man, a St. Mary’s man and a couple from Marshall were all rescued by search and rescue teams.

Jerry Hunter, originally from Scammon Bay, but now living in Hooper Bay, left Hooper on Saturday heading for Newtok.

He was reportedly traveling on a black Polaris XLT snowmachine.

When Hunter did not make his way to Newtok that night, search and rescue parties from Chevak and Newtok were dispatched.

That night saw blowing winds up to 20 mph and wind chills dipping close to -50 degrees.

Phillip Carl with Newtok Search and Rescue said that even with the frigid temperatures, Hunter was found safe Monday afternoon after two nights out in the elements.

Carl said Hunter ran out of gas and was discovered 19 miles southwest of Newtok.

Hunter was provided gas and reportedly made it to the village safe and sound.

Another search and rescue was launched on Saturday as well.

Two parties became stranded when the weather turned bad.

Bethel Search and Rescue said George “Jug” George of St. Mary’s was traveling to Pilot Station when he became lost. Jacob and Olga Isaac, of Marshall, also became lost on their way home from an undisclosed location.

Bethel SAR said the two parties found one another on the trail and stayed together.

Due to poor weather that included plummeting temperatures and ground blizzards, search parties were unable to locate the group initially.

Sunday afternoon, an aircraft spotted the group about eight miles west of Devil’s Elbow near St. Mary’s.

SAR crews were dispatched and made contact with the group. They were brought to Pilot Station and officials say they were in good health.

Officials would like to thank all Search and Rescue volunteers involved in these incidents.

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