Overdue kayaker found safe

Devin Kelly

A Wasilla man was found safe after his cellphone battery died and he was reported overdue on a kayaking trip near Anchorage Tuesday night, prompting a search by Alaska State Troopers and the Coast Guard, officials said.

Troopers contacted Coast Guard command center watchstanders in Anchorage after the man's wife reported him overdue from a kayaking trip from Knik Arm access to Cottonwood Creek in Wasilla.

The watchstanders launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew based in Cordova to conduct a search.

By the time the helicopter arrived on scene, the man, 41-year-old Ronald Wilson of Wasilla, had already started hiking back to his car, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Diana Honings. Wilson's kayak hit low-tide conditions and his cellphone battery died, so he wasn't able to contact his family or ask for help, she said.

Wilson made it back to his car and was able to contact his wife from there, Honings said. She said the incident was a reminder about trip preparedness.

"We stress that you have a reliable means of communication when you head out," Honings said.

Reach Devin Kelly at dkelly@adn.com or 257-4314.