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Two Fairbanks men rescued after boat capsizes in Chena River

Suzanna Caldwell

Two men were rescued by Alaska State Troopers Tuesday after their boat capsized on the Chena River.

At about 4 p.m., trooper dispatch in Fairbanks received a call that that two men -- Ryan Campbell, 27, and Claude Pasos, 23, both of Fairbanks -- had tipped their boat on the Chena River approximately 1 mile northeast of Grange Hall Road.

The river has been more swollen and swift due to rain in the area in recent days, trooper spokesperson Megan Peters said. During the incident, the men became separated on opposite banks of the river, losing all their gear in the process, including paddles.

While one of the men would have been able to make it back to the road safely, Peters said the other had no way of getting out and could not find a safe crossing on the swift-moving river. He also had no provisions, gun or survival gear.

The men still had cell phone service and were able to contact their parents, who notified troopers. A Fairbanks-based wildlife trooper and helicopter responded to the area, and both men were located and flown from the river to the nearby Pleasant Valley Store, where their families were waiting for them.

Peters said while they may have had life jackets in the canoe, neither appeared to be wearing one. Neither man was injured in the incident.

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