Boy rescued after getting stuck in mud while hunting along Matanuska River

A boy on a hunting trip with his father was rescued Saturday afternoon after becoming stuck in the mud along the Matanuska River off the Glenn Highway, southwest of Palmer.

“He’s out of the mud, and they rescued him, and all the crews are returning,” Mat-Su Borough Emergency Services director Ken Barkley said Saturday afternoon.

Emergency dispatch initially received a call about the stranded boy at 12:49 p.m., Barkley said.

Over the next three hours, multiple crews responded by boat, including a Mat-Su water rescue team and Alaska State Troopers, he said.

The boy was finally freed from the mud and was en route to the hospital by helicopter before 4:30 p.m., Barkley said.

He appeared to be in good health, but “they’re just going to take him in and have him checked out,” Barkley said.

He added that calls like this typically come from Alaskans out hunting who find themselves in that type of terrain.


“I’d say about every year we get one or two of these, especially this time of year,” he said.

[Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the boy and his father were hunting for elk.]

Annie Berman

Annie Berman is a reporter covering health care, education and general assignments for the Anchorage Daily News. She previously reported for Mission Local and KQED in San Francisco before joining ADN in 2020. Contact her at