SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Teens' survival credited to keeping calm
& making themselves as visible as possible


September 07, 2010

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - The Alaska State Troopers contacted the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad's office at 12:45 am Saturday morning to report an 18 yr. old female, and a 14 yr old male - brother and sister- had gone missing from Yes Bay Lodge. The owner of Yes Bay had reported that the teens were guests of the lodge, The family was on vacation from California and had arrived at the lodge around 5:00 pm the previous day. It was thought the brother and sister may have taken a trail leading to nearby McDonald Lake.

jpg Teens' survival credited to keeping calm  & making themselves as visible as possible

Search crews take a moment to relax at Yes Bay Lodge after returning from their search assignments
Photo courtesy Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS)

An aerial search of the area was started at 6:15 am Saturday, with Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS) ground teams and one canine team joining the search at 7:07 am. One helicopter and two fixed wing aircraft were also used to support the 15 search personnel involved in the operation.

The two were located on the west shoreline of McDonald Lake by a Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS) fixed wing aircraft at 10:39 am the two victims were sighted by 061 on the west shoreline of McDonald Lake. The aircraft was able to land and pick them up and return them to the lodge. They were wet and cold but not injured and in excellent spirits said Jerry Kiffer, the on scene commander for KVRS.

In a post incident interview, the teens reported they had walked up the trail to the cabin. Arriving before dark at the cabin they thought there must be more trail so started north along the lake, they thought the trail they were following had made a turn back toward the lodge so continued to follow what they described as a possible game trail. They walked until after dark and spent the night somewhere near the lake shore but not sure where. They got up after daylight and continued walking down the lake. They said they heard the search aircraft and several times turned around and walked towards the sound of the aircraft but did not know which direction to go to get back to the lodge.

Kiffer, the on-scene commander for KVRS, credited the teens' survival to keeping calm and attempting to make themselves as visible as possible. According to Kiffer the assistance received from the Yes Bay lodge and their staff was incredible. Kiffer said, Kevin Hack, a long time owner of Yes Bay has always supported search and rescue and this operation was no exception. Kiffer siaid Hack's staff searched until early hours of the morning, the lodge was made available for a remote base camp and their company aircraft was used to bring search crews from Ketchikan. "I can't thank them enough for their participation, it made a huge difference in this operation" said Kiffer.


Source of News:

Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS)


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