Troopers and Volunteer Searchers Rescue Overdue Travelers

by Charles Enoch on February 10, 2016

An aerial view of Pilot Station on Google Maps. Screenshot by Charles Enoch/KYUK

An aerial view of Pilot Station on Google Maps. Screenshot by Charles Enoch/KYUK

Alaska State Troopers have rescued two overdue travelers who had abandoned their vehicle on their way to Pilot Station.

On Monday around 11am, 53-year-old Paul Fancyboy of Pilot Station notified the troopers that two travelers, 25-year-old Dwight Heckman and 27-year-old James Polty, were overdue on their way back to their village. Fancyboy said he had traveled to Bethel the day before with the other two. He said Heckman and Polty had left Bethel on the same day to return to Pilot Station on one snowmachine after warming up.

Just before noon on Tuesday a pilot for RAVN Air spotted an abandoned snowmachine a little over 30 miles northwest of Bethel. A wildlife trooper, with the assistance of a search and rescue spotter, found the two travelers walking on the tundra just over 20 miles from Bethel.

They were later taken back to Bethel in another trooper plane, the men had no injuries but were cold and hungry from their ordeal.

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