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Old 05-18-2014, 01:20 AM
 
Location: The end of the road Alaska
860 posts, read 1,705,601 times
Reputation: 1757

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It seems every few months I'm coming in here to tell you of another wilderness tragedy and the wonderful people of Alaska who drop everything to help. Today it's been my family's turn for emotions running wild as the whole world stopped everything to find my granddaughter's husband. Without them, the alternative is unthinkable. There are a lotta lotta ways to die up here, just one little mistake is all it takes.

A greatful wife's facebook message:



I'm so incredibly lucky/happy I still have a husband and my kids still have their daddy. Ive never had such a horrible emotion and feeling as I did when sar called me and told me they found sellecks boat but not him. Amazing what awesome people are in this town. So many people searching and was found very quickly. Thank you Chris and erik for spotting him thank you Michael for heading out in your airplane, thank you sar team and coast guard. I never knew how much I would need my family with me while the search was happening. Thanks for being there and crying with me Tamara . So damn greatful he was found alive and well. Selleck is sleeping after a long night of swimming against the river until he made it to a sandbar and stayed there until noon today. I was not expecting this outcome.
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Old 05-18-2014, 05:27 AM
 
995 posts, read 837,694 times
Reputation: 860
Not many stories like that have a good ending. I'm very happy for you and your family
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:02 AM
 
1,160 posts, read 1,295,349 times
Reputation: 1206
Oh, man. What a harrowing ordeal.

I am very happy for you and your family, and so glad for all the wonderful people who helped.
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Old 05-18-2014, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Homer Alaska
1,055 posts, read 1,479,397 times
Reputation: 846
I am so happy for you and your family that you had a great outcome! Life is precious and love of our family and friends is the greatest gift of all. Hugs to all of you!
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Fairbanks, AK
1,745 posts, read 2,272,823 times
Reputation: 1855
Wow. Yes I can imagine the fear and waiting and I know perfectly well what goes through a wife's mind when contemplating the worst. So glad he was found alive and well. What happened?
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:50 PM
 
Location: The end of the road Alaska
860 posts, read 1,705,601 times
Reputation: 1757
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stimestar View Post
So glad he was found alive and well. What happened?
I hate to admit a family member was this careless but maybe it'll wake some others up.

We're located on an island 17 miles from the mouth of the Stikine river where it forms dozens of sandbars, sloughs, islands and huge cottonwood log jams before meeting saltwater after it's 200+ journey through Canada. It's a wild, uninhabited wilderness with hot springs, glaciers, shallow lakes and beautiful scenery making it the fishing, hunting and boating playground of our community.

Sometimes those born & raised who "run" the river all their lives without incident begin to think they're 10 feet tall and bulletproof.

Said young man headed upriver in his open, flatbottom aluminum scow to enjoy the tubs at the hotsprings 30 miles up for the day and would be home by dinner. He had engine trouble and it was well after dark before he got it running. Instead of heading for a nearby trapper's cabin for the night he headed downriver - ALONE - PITCH BLACK DARK - NO LIFE JACKET - NO FLARES - in fact, not even a flashlight, and a handheld VHF loose on the seat beside him.

I guarantee he was standing in the stern, holding the tiller to try to see and was probably running wide open like they all do. He hit a log and was thrown out, did not have the kill switch attached so the boat immediately began running circles around him while he tried to fight the water. His one lucky break at this point was that he'd displaced the fuel hose when he fell and finally, the engine quit and the boat drifted downriver to be found the next morning beached on an island 7 miles from the river.

This is the fastest moving river in North America, icy cold with glacier and snow melt and he can barely swim. He knew he was dead. He was shoved into a log jam, climbed out of the water but realized he could not stay there. Still unable to see a thing he had no choice but to jump back in the river and try to swim for land.

Somehow he made it to a sandbar, removed his wet clothes and buried himself in the warm sand. Early the next afternoon he was spotted by a float plane, picked up by boat and, although bruised and scraped is recuperating.

ps. I think said wife may have already shot holes in the bottom of that boat.
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Old 05-20-2014, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Fairbanks, AK
1,745 posts, read 2,272,823 times
Reputation: 1855
Oh holy cow that was close! Lol his guardian angles were certainly watching over him.
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Old 05-20-2014, 12:33 AM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
6,904 posts, read 11,690,350 times
Reputation: 5559
Good to know he's okay and that he kept his wits about himself. I think if you live in Alaska long enough and venture out you'll have your own trial. I know I've had mine and the worse was based on my own stupidity. Ended up with 4 broken ribs, a concussion and a real lesson learned.
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Old 05-20-2014, 05:26 AM
 
Location: Interior alaska
6,381 posts, read 11,941,226 times
Reputation: 3470
Glad he is fine, a bit for the wear I bet, but I would think he gained a lot if respect for the river! Many never get the second chance!
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Old 05-20-2014, 05:57 AM
 
11,689 posts, read 16,437,401 times
Reputation: 16330
Reading this puts some priorities in prospective. What does really count besides family, friends and those who choose to help others?
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