Missing Snowmachiner Found by Volunteers


     A snowmachiner missing for two days in the Caribou Hills outside Homer was found by rescuers Sunday afternoon. Forty-one-year-old Steven Craig was located by a volunteer pilot and later transported to South Peninsula Hospital.

     Craig was first reported missing Friday evening, after he apparently became disoriented while snowmachining in the Caribou Hills area. Alaska State Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters says that Craig had been riding with a friend when the pair decided to split up. At about 7 p.m. Friday night, Craig contacted his wife, saying that he was low on fuel and did not have the proper supplies and could not start a fire.

     Craig’s family and friends soon began a search for him in the area where they thought he was located. At about 6 a.m. Saturday morning, Troopers joined in the search, aided by members of the Snomads snowmachine club and one volunteer helicopter pilot.

     Those efforts proved fruitless but searchers began again Sunday morning, this time aided by many more volunteers. Peters says that if it weren’t for the tireless effort of dozens of local volunteers, Craig may not have survived.

     Peters says Craig was found near Cytex Creek by Ptarmigan Head hill. She says the Caribou Hills area is an easy one in which to become lost.

     The Homer News reports that the pilot who located Craig was Charlie Kaufmann, who – on a hunch – extended his search outside of the original search area. Kaufmann located Craig at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon and was able to drop some supplies – including food and a blanket – before a helicopter came in to pick him up. Craig was reportedly cold and wet but otherwise in good shape.