Early Wednesday morning, a stranded fishing party was rescued by helicopter near the Deshka Landing in Willow. According to the Alaska State Troopers, Lloyd Hester of Willow took three family members who were visiting from Texas on a fishing trip in his boat. The group got lost, and the boat was grounded when they tried to find their way back. The troopers were contacted Tuesday evening. The group decided to camp for the night and meet with an Alaska Wildlife Trooper boat in the morning.
The weather turned for the worse, with cold and rain moving in through the night. The family was unable to keep a fire going, and could not stay dry in the worsening conditions. Hester, who is 76 years old, became hypothermic, and the group requested assistance. The Rescue Coordination Center was contacted, and a HH-60 helicopter was dispatched. The group was rescued at about 5:30 am on Wednesday and transported to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. Hester was treated for hypothermia and released.