Three people were rescued from an overturned canoe in the Eagle River Monday night, according to the Anchorage Fire Department and Alaska State Troopers.
AFD and AST say they responded to the call for a swift water rescue around 8 o'clock Monday night, near mile 17 of the Eagle River, near the Briggs Bridge over Eagle River Loop Road.
A trooper helicopter was used to help locate the three, who had managed to climb onto a log that the canoe had run into, causing the canoe to flip over.
"The current got really strong and we kind of ran into a log and we just flipped over," said Thatcher Slagle, one of the three who was rescued. "Somebody just leaned sideways and we just flipped over."
The three, all wearing life jackets according to AFD crews on scene, had sat on the log until the trooper helicopter found them. It was about a two hour wait, according to state troopers.
One of the three was able to start a fire to keep warm while on the log.
"We had a lighter, and we were picking up bark and pieces of grass," said Tess Klippel. "We managed to make a fire somehow."
The trooper pilot lowered the helicopter toward the three canoers on the log, and loaded them all up through the helicopter's side door, an extremely difficult maneuver, according to AST spokesperson Beth Ipsen. The three canoers were reunited with family members around 9:30 p.m.
Troopers say the conditions on Eagle River were dangerous, with fast moving and high currents.
Contact Jason Lamb