Steven Craig located, transported to hospital
By Naomi Klouda
A missing 41-year-old snowmachiner who separated from his friend while traveling to the Caribou Lake Lodge Friday has been found.
At about 2 p.m. today, word came that Steven Craig was spotted walking in the Caribou Hills by a private fixed-wing aircraft. He was airdropped food and water. Alaska State Troopers at first could not confirm this is Craig, however, until they are able to land. The Pathfinder Helicopter pilot went to the location where Craig was spotted, near Cytex Creek and Ptarmigan Head area, and were able to land. Craig was picked up and was immediately transported to the South Peninsula Hospital, said Spokesperson Megan Peters at 3:20 p.m. today, Sunday.
“No troopers were able to talk with him yet. We’re not sure about his condition, but he is safe,” Peters said.
Craig’s relatives, Linda and Troy Jones and Ina and Chelsea Jones, had received word that the it was Craig who was spotted walking out of the hills. They were told by the private pilot, Charlie and Ryan Kaufman.
Troopers and the snowmachine club, Snomads, made a search team at 8 a.m. this morning, Sunday, for Craig of Homer. It was the third gathering of volunteers on search in as many days.
Trooper Spokesperson Peters said Craig was last heard from soon after he realized he was in trouble on Friday after 6:20 p.m.
“Late in the day on Friday, he was able to contact family to say he was running out of fuel, and he didn’t have a lot of food and supplies,” Peters said. “We were out looking yesterday after first light. About 60 snow machiners went out today, divided up by teams. Also three private planes and a helicopter were to participate. We weren’t able to get our AST helicopter down that way due to the weather. Locals in the community with access to aircraft offered to help.”
Anyone who wanted to help with the search was encouraged to first check in with fire Chief Bob Cicciarella at Kachemak Emergency Service.
Despite intensive efforts, there was no word yet about spotting him by mid-afternoon today, Sunday until the Kaufman sighting.
Craig was snowmachining Friday with a friend in the Caribou Hills. At about 6:20 p.m., he separated from his friend in order to travel to Caribou Lake Lodge. His friend went home.
About 40 minutes later,Craig called his wife on cell phone and reported to her that he was low on fuel, didn’t have survival supplies. He said said the fog was bad and he was disoriented.
Craig’s wife contacted family friends and several private parties went to the area where Craig was last seen. They searched, but were not able to find Craig.
In the morning, Snomads were called in.
The National Weather Service had issued a travel advisory for the weekend warning of freezing rain and climbing temperatures, with a tropical wind blowing in.
Air resources from Anchorage were requested to assist in the search, but due to weather conditions, it was impossible to get an aircraft to the search area, Megan said. Later in the day, a helicopter from Pathfinder Aviation joined the effort but was unable to locate Craig.
Yet, despite the bad weather, low skies and heavy rains continuing into today, both the private plane and the helicopter were able to complete the search successfully.
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Posted by Newsroom
on Jan 13th, 2013 and filed under Headline News
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