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Contact: Maureen McLaughlin, (907) 733-9103
In a joint effort of the Alaska State Troopers and the National Park Service, two hypothermic hunters were rescued from the banks of the Chulitna River on Saturday, September 20. The two hunters, David Sapp and Jason Herring both from Fairbanks, were swept down the East Fork of the Chulitna River while attempting to cross the river on the first day of a moose hunt.
While they were both able to struggle to shore, the cold, wet hunters were stranded on the east or far side of the river relative to the Parks Highway and their vehicle. Sapp was able to call his wife via cell phone, and she alerted the Alaska State Troopers in Fairbanks to their location.
Alaska State Trooper Thomas Lowy and National Park Service Ranger John Leonard were in the vicinity conducting an aerial boundary patrol of Denali National Park and Preserve at the time of the call. In deteriorating weather conditions, Lowy and Leonard, who were aboard an NPS contracted helicopter, were able to locate the uninjured, but hypothermic hunters and transport them to the Parks Highway where they were ultimately driven to their vehicle.