National Guard plucks five off ATV stranded near Knik River

Zaz Hollander

An Air National Guard helicopter rescued five people, including two children, early Sunday morning after their amphibious, all-terrain Argo broke through ice in the area of the Knik River and got stuck.

Three adults in the group were identified as Nathan McCarthy, David Weimer and Emilie Arvidson, Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said. Arvidson is from Eagle River; the hometowns of the others were not available. The adults ranged in age from their late 20s to late 30s, Peters said.

No one was injured but because of thin ice in the area, all five had to be hoisted one at a time into a Pave Hawk helicopter, a Guard spokeswoman said.

Someone in the group used a cellphone to call for help at 8:27 p.m. Saturday near Friday Creek, according to information from the Guard and Mat-Su dispatch logs. Butte fire and rescue departments responded.

At 11:35 p.m., the Alaska State Troopers -- under night flight restrictions and without hoist capability -- called the Rescue Coordination Center at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson for support, according to a release the Guard issued Monday afternoon. Members of the Guard's 210th and 212th rescue squadrons responded.

The stranded party was evaluated by Guard rescuers and then brought to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, where they were released to the troopers.

The rescue squadrons and helicopter returned to the base at 2:55 a.m. Sunday.

Reach Zaz Hollander at or 257-4317.