By Neil Torquiano
Channel 2 News
1:14 PM AKDT, August 21, 2012
Two state geologists from Fairbanks were rescued Monday afternoon by helicopter near Whittier, according to Alaska State Troopers.
On Saturday evening, the Department of Natural Resources contacted the Soldotna Trooper Dispatch saying 52-year-old Katharine Bull and 48-year-old Robert Gillis were dropped off at separate locations in the mountains near Whittier.
DNR told troopers that the geologists were dropped that morning and were supposed to work for a couple of hours, however the weather reportedly turned bad. DNR said Bull and Gillis would stay overnight, and the workers would be picked up the next day weather permitting.
On Sunday morning, DNR requested troopers’ assistance, and Helo-1 and the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group spent much of the day searching for the geologists.
On Monday morning, troopers received help from the military Rescue Coordination Center in the rescue.
The groups reached Bull around 8:30 a.m. and found her and dropped her off on the Anchorage side of the Whittier tunnel.
Rescue crews found Gillis around 2:00 p.m. and dropped him off at the tunnel around 2:30 p.m.
Both geologists were found uninjured and refused medical treatment.
Trooper's dispatch posted August 21:
Case number: AK12229506
Type: Search and Rescue
Text: On 08/18/12 at 1800 hours, Soldotna Trooper Dispatch was
contacted by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) advising
two geologists were dropped off by helicopter at two separate
locations in the mountains near Whittier on Saturday morning at
about 0930 hours. They were going to work for a couple of hours
and the helicopter would pick them up. As soon as they were
dropped off the weather turned bad and the helicopter was not
able pick them up. The geologists were identified as Katharine
Bull, 52 of Fairbanks, and Robert Gillis, 48 of Fairbnanks. DNR
decided Bull and Gillis would stay overnight and the helicopter
would pick them up the next day weather permitting. On 08/19/12
at 1010 hours, DNR requested Trooper assistance. DPS Helo-1 and
Alaska Mountain Rescue Group (AMRG) responded. Helo-1 transported
ARMG members up the mountain as far as possible ARMG members
continued hiking up until about 2200 hours. On 08/20/12 at 0800
hours, AST requested assistance from the military Rescue
Coordination Center (RCC) in Anchorage. The RCC sent a military
helicopter to assist. AMRG members reached Bull at about 0833 hours.
She was uninjured by cold. The military helicopter transported AMRG
members up the other mountain towards Gillis' location. At 1308
hours, the military helicopter picked up Bull and AMRG members and
dropped them off at the parking area of the Anchorage side of the
Whittier Tunnel. At 1400 hours, AMRG members reached Gillis.
Gillis was uninjured. The military helicopter picked up Gillis
and the AMRG members and dropped them off at the parking area at
1430 hours. Bull and Gillis refused any medical treatment. All
AMRG members were accounted for.
Received Tuesday, August 21, 2012 12:21 AM and posted Tuesday, August 21, 2012 12:14 AM
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