Guard, picks up 3rd graf prvs ''The boys''

Posted: Friday, December 20, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Two Scammon Bay teenagers riding a snowmachine were rescued Thursday afternoon on pack ice west of Hooper Bay.

The Alaska National Guard rescued the boys about 12 hours after authorities were first alerted that the boys were on a snowmachine when the ice broke off and began drifting.

The boys were identified as Robert Tungwenuk, 18, and Francis Ulak, 16. A guard helicopter located the boys about three miles west of Hooper Bay. They were on a rise of ice that was surrounded by overflow water.

The rescue occurred in poor visibility with winds of 35 mph. A helicopter in Bethel equipped with a rescue basket was sent to pick up the teenagers.

The Alaska State Troopers called the Rescue Coordination Center at about 2:30 a.m. to report that the boys were believed to be on the ice flow in the bay. Villagers saw a light and tried to get to the boys, but they were turned back by bad weather, the guard said.

The boys were riding a snowmachine from Scammon Bay to the nearby village of Chevak when they ran into trouble.

Kristi Kendall, an Air National Guard senior airman, said the boys were rescued about 2:30 p.m. and seemed to be in fairly good condition. They were being flown to the Hooper Bay health clinic at about 2:40 p.m. to be treated for mild hypothermia.

The boys' uncle, Lester Wilde of Hooper Bay, told KYUK radio in Bethel that the teenagers were OK but wet.

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