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Troopers respond to separated, overdue snowmachiners near Kotzebue

Alaska State Troopers had their hands full over the weekend east of Kotzebue as a pair of search and rescue operations were mounted to safely locate separated and overdue snowmachiners.

The calls came in on March 25, according to Trooper dispatch, with the first report at 7:58 p.m.

Troopers received a report from an individual traveling from Ambler to Selawik with another person that they had become separated approximately 10 miles from Selawik. The caller was with his dog team. The other person was reported to be on a snowmachine. On March 26, at 6:05 a.m., a ground crew from Selawik located the snowmachiner and returned safely to Selawik. Later Sunday, the caller and his dog team were returned safely to Selawik.

The second call came in on Saturday at 9:01 p.m. Troopers were contacted by Northwest Arctic Borough Search and Rescue on a report of four overdue people from Kobuk. The four were reported to be traveling from Kobuk to Selawik on three snowmachines. The group was reported to have left Kobuk at approximately 10 a.m. on Saturday and had not been heard from since.

On March 27, at 2:30 a.m., ground searchers located the group of four at a shelter cabin between Selawik and Ambler. After starting a fire to warm up, all parties involved were returned safely to Ambler.

A sizeable number of snowmachiners are set to take part in the Archie Ferguson/Willie Goodwin Sr. Memorial Snowmachine Race that is coming up in Kotzebue on Friday, March 31.

Image at top: The badge of the Alaska State Troopers. Photo courtesy Alaska Department of Public Safety.

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