Two rescued after 14 hours on Tanana log jam

Posted: Sunday, August 12, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Two stranded canoeists who spent a cold, wet night on a logjam in the Tanana River were rescued by other boaters out for a pleasant afternoon ride.

Holly Dennis and Jessica Shanahan endured 14 hours perched on logs after their canoe swamped Aug. 1. The first people to come their way were Bill and Betty Page, experienced riverboat racers.

The young women survived the experience with only a few bruises and scrapes. They seemed dehydrated, Bill Page said.

On Aug. 2, the day the two women were picked up, the river measured 25.24 feet, the highest this year, according to the National Weather Service.

The women's canoe had swamped about 1:30 p.m. the day before. One of them had grabbed a waterproof bag containing a sleeping bag, but all their other gear went down river with the canoe.

''It was a big log jam, but it wasn't very stable,'' Betty Page said. ''Fortunately they found a place to sit down and wait for help.''

As the group headed for Nenana, they found the canoe, stuck upright in the mud three miles from the logjam. Not only was the canoe OK but the women were able to retrieve most of their belongings.

The canoeists, who live in Fairbanks, were in Haines last week and were unavailable for interviews.

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