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This past week, a young man from California set out on the Carlanna Lake trail with the goal of hiking a route that continues on over to Ward Lake.
He had planned to arrive at his destination by 4 p.m. Friday. But, as can happen in the local backcountry, the young man lost his way. He had the presence of mind to send a text message to friends, saying that he was lost and requesting that they call 911.
Alaska State Troopers received the report just before 5 p.m. Friday. According to troopers information, the young man was able to provide GPS coordinates for his position.
What occurred next was something for which every outdoorsman, boater and aviator in the Ketchikan area should be grateful — the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad was activated to respond.
A few minutes after 10 p.m. Friday, a KVRS hasty team reported that they were in contact with the young man.
“KVRS made the determination to camp for the evening and would summons a helicopter in the morning to extract the hiker,” according to the troopers dispatch.
On Saturday morning, a helicopter transported the hiker and KVRS members to Ketchikan, according to the troopers’ information. No injuries were reported.
It was an optimal outcome, and another reason in a long history of reasons to be thankful for the volunteers who continue to make KVRS the fine organization that it is.
Since its founding in 1950, the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad has been faithful in responding to calls for assistance in the Ketchikan area and beyond.
As a newspaper covering many of the cases KVRS has been involved with over the years, we continue to be impressed with the dedication, skill and perseverance of the organization and its volunteer members.
Ketchikan is a community that occupies a thin ribbon of land adjacent to mountainous terrain on one side and ocean waterways on the other. This land and sea can be unforgiving — even skilled individuals can find themselves in peril, quickly.
That there are Ketchikan people trained and willing to go search for people who are lost and provide assistance when they’re found is a true blessing for the community.
This most recent KVRS response again highlights the organization’s value. We join with the Alaska State Troopers in thanking KVRS for its “fast response and assistance.”