"Pair shipwrecked on Fire Lake"

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 - 19:00

From a column by editor Rusty Bellringer in the Knik Arm Courier, June 27, 1962:

Two fishermen who were enjoying an early morning boating expedition in Lower Fire Lake last Wednesday, had their fun rudely interrupted when their small boat swamped, dumping the pair into the water.

Harvey Kirkpatrick of Birchwood, and Billy Mills of Anchorage, managed to swim to one of the small islands which dot the surface of the lake. But the island, which was composed mostly of swamp grass and muskeg, was not large enough to support their weight and it also began to sink.

The two were left standing waist deep in water on the partially submerged island and waving frantically to cars on the highway, trying to attract their attention.

They finally caught the eye of Dick Holcomb, of Birchwood, who was on his way to work. Holcomb himself had no way of getting the men out of the water, but he ran out to the road an flagged the first car he saw that was towing a boat on a trailer.

Holcomb and the boat owner then put the boat into the water and rescued Kirkpatrick and Mills, who were cold and wet but otherwise uninjured.

The owner of the rescue boat prefers to remain unidentified.


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This column is provided by the Chugiak-Eagle River Historical Society. Reach them at [email protected] or leave a message at 688-4706.

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