Coast Guard rescues hikers stranded on beach near Seward

mtheriault@adn.comJuly 14, 2013 

— Three hikers who were stranded on a remote beach south of Seward when the tide came in were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard on Sunday morning.

The hikers, identified by the Alaska State Troopers as John Shepperd, Christina Shepperd and Jared Sukert, set out Saturday night with a half-gallon of water and snacks as their only supplies, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Grant DeVuyst.

"During the night the tide came in and stranded them," DeVuyst said. "They started a fire to keep warm, but had no tree cover or gear to protect them when it began raining."

Around 4 a.m., the hikers called the Seward Police, according to DeVuyst.

The Coast Guard supplied a small boat from their cutter in Seward, which picked the hikers up just after 7 a.m.

"There's a million things that can go wrong in Alaska," DeVuyst said. "Our advice is that you have all the gear you need."

The hikers were uninjured.

Tonsina Beach, about 1.5 miles south of the community of Lowell Beach near Seward, is part of the Caines Head Trail system, which hugs Resurrection Bay.

The Alaska State Parks division warns hikers that parts of the trail and beach are only accessible at low tide.

Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at mtheriault@adn.com or 257-4344.

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