Crews search for two missing on Bear Glacier

A helicopter carrying a rescue crew has landed at the base of Bear Glacier in the Harding Ice Fields, near Seward. They’re looking for two hikers who were stranded over the weekend.

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Bear Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
Bear Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park.
(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

36-year-old Jennifer Neyman, of Wrangell and 45-year-old Christopher Hanna of Soldotna were reported stranded near the Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park Saturday afternoon, according to an Alaska State Trooper dispatch.

Staff Seargent Edward Eagerton, a spokesperson for the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, says a helicopter carrying the crew landed around noon.

“The HH-60 Helicopter from the 210th Rescue Squadron was able to break through the weather enough to get to the base of Bear Glacier. They’ve landed there and they’re holding at that position waiting for the weather to clear up enough for them to get further up the glacier to get to the individuals,” said Eagerton.

Eagerton says weather and terrain will not allow a ground crew to search for the hikers.

Neyman and Hanna had been dropped off by airplane for a day hike on Friday and were supposed to get picked up that evening. The weather changed and the pilot was not able to pick them up, according to the Trooper dispatch.

Eagerton says the RCC took the lead on the rescue from Troopers on Sunday and they were able to get a flight out to the glacier Monday. Eagerton says Neyman and Hanna had been communicating through an inReach satellite locator beacon.

“The coordinates that they provided through their inReach beacon put them at approximately 4,300 feet in elevation on the Bear Glacier in the Harding Ice Field. They had communicated that their tent had failed, they were running low on supplies, the weather was getting worse and so they ended up having to dig in and make a snow cave for shelter,” said Eagerton.

Neyman is a well-known journalist on the Kenai Peninsula where she is the owner/editor of the Redoubt Reporter. Neyman has also worked for KDLL public radio and the Peninsula Clarion newspaper in Kenai.

Daysha Eaton is a contributor with the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage.

Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email.

Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.

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