FAIRBANKS - Two Fairbanks residents took surprise dips Sunday in the icy Chena River. Both escaped without serious injury.
Alaska State Troopers say 60-year-old Frank Therrell was driving a snowmobile on the river just before 1 a.m. and swerved to avoid a patch of open water. He hit a stump or the river bank and was thrown into the water.
A neighbor heard his cries for help.
Therrell spent about 10 minutes in the water but escaped with help from a rope tossed to him by troopers.
Officers also responded to a pickup that broke through ice near the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge at about 9:30 a.m. Forty-year-old Jaime Wicken made it to shore without assistance.
The high in Fairbanks on Sunday was 13 degrees and the low was 6 below zero.