Teen-ager gets unexpected ride on Chena River ice

Posted: Sunday, May 05, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A teen-ager got a brief, unintentional ride on a large piece of Chena River ice near the Cushman Street Bridge.

Lucas Hanson, 18, and his friend Zach Lunney, 17, were ''hanging out'' Friday on the large chunks of ice bordering the river. Hanson said he had just jumped to a larger chunk of ice when it broke free of the bank and started to float.

''A bunch of beer cans went by and knocked it lose,'' Lunney said. ''I probably never laughed harder.''

Hanson calmly stood atop the ice raft as it floated approximately 100 feet downstream while bystanders watched in amazement.

Fairbanks firefighters threw a rope his way as the floe neared other ice chunks caught in a small bend in the river. But Hanson ignored the rope and jumped to another large ice chunk still lodged to the bank.

When he tried to step to shore, he stepped on a loose patch of ice and went into the waist-deep water. Fairbanks Fire Capt. Keith Berrian quickly reached out, grabbed Hanson's outstretched hand and fished the teen out of the 33-degree water. Hanson was wrapped in a blanket. He did not need medical care.

''I learned my lesson,'' Hanson said. ''That's one of those things that you tell your kids not to do.''

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