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AST’s Helo-3 diverted while on the return leg of a rescue mission that grabbed three from Lake Creek and plucked two additional stranded campers from the mouth of the Eska Creek on Monday evening, the trooper dispatch reported on Tuesday morning.
At 4:35 pm on Monday, Helo-3 was launched after receiving a report of a capsized boat with stranded boaters along Lake Creek.
The boaters, while in good condition after the capsize, reported that they were stranded on a sandbar on the creek, could not access their overturned craft and could not progress toward the banks because of dangerous water conditions. One of the party also suffered a medical condition that required medical attention.
After picking up the three boaters, Helo-3 headed to the drop-off point but received further orders that diverted the aircraft to Eska Creek where two campers were stranded on a sandbar. troopers reported that after they had arrived at the second stranding location they found the waters at that location to be too dangerous to direct a crossing through the water and requested air assets.
According to the report, two campers, Tatum Bertholl and Mikenzie Patz, both 18 and from Eagle River, reported being stranded on a sandbar at the mouth of the Eska Creek where it enters the Matanuska River after rising water made it impossible to escape the river.
The duo reported that after camping overnight with a friend, they became mired in the rising waters after getting stuck in the mud. They reported not being able to leave the scene either by foot or by vehicle.
Helo-3 diverted and successfully rescued them from the sandbar.