Eielson Couple Headed to Tolovana Hot Springs Rescued by Troopers

Map of access to Tolovana Hot Springs
Map of access to Tolovana Hot Springs. Image-Tolovanahotsprings.com

A couple from Eielson Air Force Base were rescued by Fairbanks troopers after their snow machine broke down on their way to Tolovana Hot Springs early Thursday morning.

According to Alaska State Troopers, Daniel and Shelmarie Schinsky left Eielson on a snow machine on Wednesday to travel to the Tolovana Hot Springs. But, the couple got their snow machine stuck in the snow about 6 miles from the trailhead on their way to their destination.

Knowing they were closer to the hot springs then their starting point, the couple decided to walk to the cabins at the springs in the high winds and frigid temperatures registered at approximately -30 degrees.

As the two proceeded towards the cabins, they came to a large, empty water tank. The high winds prompted the two to take shelter inside. While the tank afforded them shelter from the high winds, it did nothing to protect them from the freezing cold. The couple was not prepared to spend the night out of doors.

While in the water tank, the Schinskys still had a cell phone signal and so began texting friends and informing them of their predicament. One of those friends contacted the Alaska State Troopers and informed them of the situation at 1:24 am.

Two Sergeants from the Fairbanks post responded to the trailhead at mile 93 of the Elliot Highway after gathering the necessary resources. As they progressed up the trail, the troopers located the disabled snow machine, and a short time later were able to locate the couple in distress.

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After providing the Schinskis with warmer clothing, they transported the two to their snow machine, helped them free it and proceeded to the couple’s vehicle at the trailhead. Once there, the couple were able to warm up.

Troopers report that they were back out of the field with the couple at 8:30 am on Thursday morning.