Scout organizations key to rescue

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, November 13, 2003

I appreciated your dramatic front-page story about the lost hikers.

However, the sub-headline is not quite accurate. The SEADOGS did respond, and the fact that search and rescue experts were on the way boosted the confidence of everyone at the scene. But the fact is that the lost children were found by Boy Scout and Cub Scout leaders and parents.

Troop 11 Boy Scouts and senior Pack 10 and Pack 15 Cub Scouts were already at the scene when the children were reported missing.

The scout leaders sent senior Boy Scouts to search the vicinity of the camp, while the adults formed several teams for a broader search effort.

Because the scout leaders and parents had a head start, and were fortunate in their search choices, they found the children several miles up the trail at about the time that the SEADOGS were getting organized at the trailhead.

The successful search party was able to make radio contact with the SEADOGS and the SEADOGS continued up the trail to help everyone home safely.

I have a great deal of respect for the SEADOGS organization and I appreciate that they interrupted their weekend and brought their considerable resources to the scene.

Juneau is very fortunate to have organized and competent teams like SEADOGS, Juneau Mountain Rescue, Dive Rescue, Capital City Fire and Rescue, Alaska State Troopers and Juneau Police Department, the Coast Guard and Civil Air Patrol, etc., and a successful rescue is often a joint effort involving several teams.

Certainly the SEADOGS were a very significant part of this successful rescue and they richly deserve community recognition.

But in this case it appeared to me that your story was shortchanging the role that the scout organizations played. Thanks for allowing me an opportunity to correct the record.

Larry Talley

Webelos II den leader,

Cub Scout Pack 10

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