Alaska sees increase in search and rescue calls compared to last year

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 9:35 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Enjoying the great Alaska outdoors is what a lot of living in the Last Frontier is all about, but Lt. Paul Fussey from the Alaska Department of Public Safety says he has seen increase in calls for search and rescue.

“Right now as of July 1 we are looking at about 12 search and rescues more than we were last year at this time, which considering we’re only at July 17, that is a large uptick from the previous year,” Fussey said.

A majority of those calls, according to the department, are from hikers and boaters needing help, but some are from people needing to be airlifted out of a situation.

While officials haven’t pinpointed an exact reason as to why this increase is happening, some do think the warmer weather has a part to play.

“The weather’s a lot nicer this July compared to last year as most people have seen that we’re setting record temperatures, so with that more and more people are getting out they’re enjoying the Alaska back country because of the nicer weather compared to last year,” Fussey said.

For those looking to get out and enjoy the time outside, it’s recommended that they always file a trip or flight plan and share that with someone they trust.

“Make sure that you tell someone where you’re going, what you’re going to be doing, and when you expect to be back,” Fussey said. “Because if you are late for any reason then we can start looking at trying to find you.”

“A day trip can turn deadly very quickly,” he added.

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