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Man saved after clinging to ice chunk in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA (AP) – An Alaska man walking on a shoreline wound up clinging to a chunk of ice for more than 30 minutes in frigid water when the shoreline ice broke loose and carried him out into Cook Inlet.

Jaime Snedden, 45, of Homer, was rescued last Saturday near the community of Anchor Point on the Kenai Peninsula. He was taken to a hospital, where he was treated for hypothermia. He was expected to fully recover, Alaska Wildlife Troopers said.

Snedden “was reported to have been walking along the shoreline on the ice when it broke free and drifted into Cook Inlet with the outgoing current”, Troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain said in an email to The Associated Press on Monday.

Snedden was swept about 274 metres out into the inlet, near the mouth of the Anchor River.

Alaska Wildlife Trooper Jeremy Baum arrived and saw only Snedden’s head and arms visible above water as he clung to the ice chunk.

Snedden was not wearing any type of personal flotation device.

The fishing vessel Misty was about 4.83 kilometres away and responded to an urgent marine broadcast seeking help. The Misty arrived about the same time as Baum, who launched an inflatable pack raft and rowed to Snedden’s location.

Snedden was pulled aboard the Misty, with assistance from the ship’s captain, Shane Balkely, and his clients.

“Without their help it would have been much more challenging to rescue Snedden and get him to EMS as quickly as we did,” Baum said.


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