Bangkok couple lost near West Glacier Trial Peninsula found
Posted 2015-04-26 19:10:00 by Lori James
Two Thai nationals from Bangkok called Alaska State Troopers Saturday night to say they were lost in the dark near the West Glacier Trail Peninsula.
Haines Trooper Andrew Neason interviewed the couple, Prao Ruang and Tong Phiti, then determined their location with the help of their cellphone.
Neason contacted SEADOGS saying, “They have a cell phone at about 50% power. She says they were about 2 hours out from the West Glacier Trailhead, in a rocky area where they can see a waterfall. They are uninjured, have warm clothes, supplies and a small flashlight. I instructed them to stay put and wait for the searchers to come to them."
Neason alerted the Juneau SAR Community and arranged for SEADOGS’ management team to assume on-the-ground management of the search and rescue while maintaining Incident Command at his home in Haines.
The two visitors were located at the base of a cliff by search dogs at 1:00AM Sunday. They were cold and emotionally distraught, but SEADOGS’ handlers surveyed, stabilized and determined that they had no injuries, thanks to Trooper Neason’s calming phone calls. They were rehydrated and offered food, but declined. USFS and CCFR were contacted for a lake boat to speed their return, but both were unavailable. The visitors elected to walk out with the dogs and handlers, reaching the command post at 3:15AM.
They were independent travelers from Bangkok staying in a local hotel. They declined medical attention, were offered food and liquids, and said they were fully able to drive their rental car back by themselves.
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