Franticly waving rafter spotted from air

    A State Fish & Game biologist flying over the north fork of the Kuskokwim River Wednesday evening spotted a rafter frantically waving his paddles.

    A New Yorker who got into trouble deep in the Alaskan interior may owe his survival to an airplane that happened to pass overhead.

    According to an Alaska State Trooper dispatch, a State Fish & Game biologist flying over the north fork of the Kuskokwim River Wednesday evening spotted a rafter frantically waving his paddles.

    The pilot relayed the situation to a wildlife trooper in McGrath, who landed a floatplane at the location that night. The rafter, identified as 29-year old Vladimir Yakushin of New York City, was described as "distraught" and low on food.

    Yakushin had been dropped off June 20th at a remote lake to build a cabin, but soon found he was not equipped to stay for the long term. When his rented satellite phone wouldn't work, he decided to hike to the river and try to raft out.

    Yakushin was flown to McGrath and did not require medical treatment.

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