A pair of snowmachiners became lost over the weekend when travelling from Mountain Village to Scammon Bay. The pair was found exhausted and disoriented walking back toward Mountain Village.
31-year-old Joseph Seton and 49-year-old Samuel Rivers, both of Mountain Village, left Friday afternoon on a single snowmachine traveling to Scammon Bay.
That’s a 4-7 hour trip by snowmachine on rough, snow-less trail said Mountain Village Police Officer Kenneth Hunter.
He he contacted Scammon Bay later Friday night to make sure the pair had gotten there safely.
“I called the family downriver to see if they had heard from them. They hadn’t,” Hunter said.
Hunter then got a search party together in Mountain Village. Parties from Scammon Bay and the Alaska State Troopers in St. Mary’s were also dispatched.
He said finding Seton and Rivers was a group effort. A trooper pilot spotted Seton and Rivers from the air, while the ground team from Mountain Village SAR picked them up. They were about eight miles outside of Mountain Village.
It is unclear how far Seton and Rivers walked. Hunter said they had turned back halfway through their trip when they realised the snowmachine was low on fuel. The machine then ran out of gas.
The pair was without shelter, but started a fire sometime in the night to keep warm.
Hunter says both Seton and Rivers are both ok.
Alaska State Troopers urge anyone traveling to leave an itinerary with a reliable person and to carry communication equipment when en-route.