The three deer hunters presumed lost on a Montague Island late season hunt, only to be rescued by Coast Guard from a Chenega cabin after several days of search, did a lot of things right in a bad situation.
Leo and Sam Tipikin and George Matveev were planned a quick day trip from Whittier in a 20-foot Duckworth. But their plans quickly went awry when a rock damaged their steering and a looming major storm made a return to Whittier a risky if not downright foolhardy impossibility.
So they do what savvy outdoorsmen do–they took stock, found shelter and made the most of the resources on hand.
Using a map on the boat (one essential that iphone outdoorsmen now often forget), they found a remote cabin that by luck was stocked with fuel for the stove and water. They had given family a general idea of where they were going, which gave the Coasties a place to start the search.
And they hunkered down to wait. Which often stranded hunters refuse to do, thinking that walking for help is better than letting help come to you, while conserving resources.
The three were so prepared for a long stay that they hadn’t even eaten their food on hand, in case they needed to wait for weeks. A Coast Guard rescue helicopter found them, from their boat on shore, and what could have been a tragedy ended as a happy adventure story.
So when and if you’re in a similar situation, remember their example: take stock, find shelter, prepare to wait for help and stay put.
You can read more about their experience and rescue at:
— Lee Leschper