2 missing hunters found safe

Posted: Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Two local hunters who were reported missing on Douglas Island on Sunday were found safe Monday morning.

Lee Ferguson and Saffron Hayes both of Juneau, set out from Eaglecrest on Sunday morning and were due back by 2 p.m.

The Alaska State Trooper's dispatch statement said the hunters were well equipped with GPS and a VHF radio.

Douglas Mountain Search and Rescue, Nate Abbott and an Eaglecrest snowcat searched along the boundary line to the eagles' nest at the top of Eaglecrest on Sunday night. Due to low visibility, the search was called off until first light.

Petty Officer First Class David Mosley, the public affairs specialist with the Alaska Coast Guard, said they became involved this morning. At 9:16 a.m. the Coast Guard launched a small boat from Juneau to do a shoreline search. At 10:55 a.m. they diverted a helicopter that was in flight in the Sitka area to assist in the search. They located the hunters on the west side of Douglas Island near Hilda Creek. Mosley said a radio was lowered to ensure they were the missing hunters and once confirmed the helicopter landed and retrieved the men.

Megan Peters, the Public Information Officer for the Alaska Department of Public Safety, said the VHF radio the men had with them failed due to a broken antenna.

Mosley said they were evaluated by EMS as "wet and cold with no major injuries." Peters said the pair had mild hypothermia.

"They are now back in Juneau, so it's a happy ending," he said.

Mosley urged people to be prepared for any weather possibility and to make sure they are prepared for the elements.

• Contact reporter Sarah Day at 523-2279 or at sarah.day@ juneauempire.com.

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