ANCHORAGE - Alaska State Troopers twice were called out on Christmas to rescue snowmachiners.
The first rescue occurred early Christmas morning near the Susitna River when a trooper and a former trooper took a wrong turn. The two, Willow resident Shayne M. Calt, 28, and Kevin R. Baker, 27, of Anchorage, called to report they were lost and short of gas near Susitna and south of the Iditarod Trail.
Calt is a trooper based out of the Talkeetna post. Baker is a former trooper and currently works as team leader with the Alaska Military Youth Academy at Fort Richardson.
Trooper spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said the men had left Willow on two 2002 SkiDoo Summit 700 snowmachines and traveled down a swamp trail near the Susitna River when they took a wrong turn.
Ipsen said Calt reported they were cold, in below-zero temperatures and did not have enough gas to make the trip back.
The men provided their GPS location, built a snow cave and waited for help. They were rescued about three hours later.
A trooper helicopter was launched and the two men were rescued by 3:24 a.m. No injuries were reported. Ipsen said Calt was back in the area to recover the snowmachines Friday.
Later on Christmas Day, two troopers out of Delta Junction rescued a father and a daughter who were lost in the Hoodoo Mountains north of Paxson, with a storm coming.
The father, Kiely K. Koeppen, 32, called troopers for assistance at 2:17 p.m.
According to Ipsen, Koeppen said he was unfamiliar with the area and nervous about proceeding. He and his 15-year-old daughter were dressed warmly but did not have a GPS unit, emergency equipment, food or shelter.
The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center sent a fixed-wing airplane to look for the two.
A short time later two troopers from Delta Junction found the pair northeast of Summit Lake. Troopers escorted them back to their vehicles. They did not need medical attention.
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