Friday, May 24, 2013
Four Grizzly-Mauled Teens Recount Attack
One survivors says the five- to seven-minute attack “seemed like it went on forever.”
The survivors of a grizzly bear mauling Saturday night in the Talkeetna Mountains are speaking out about the attack. A group of teens were backpacking deep in the wilderness near the Chutlina River when they say a grizzly bear jumped on them.
Seven young men who were part of a 30-day National Outdoor Leadership School program leaned on their training, trust, and faith to not only survive a bear mauling in the Alaska wilderness, but to live to talk about it.
The teens were on an independent student expedition course wading single-file through a river near the Chulitna River when a grizzly bear pounced.
“The screaming I could hear from my friends, and the growls from the bear, which were loud and deep,” says 16-year-old survivor Shane Garlock.
“It was terrifying,” says Noah Allaine, 16, another survivor who was second in the line and was bit on the head and the side by the brown bear.
“I believe we startled the bear and so when grizzly bears are startled they attack,” he continued.
Allaine says the five- to seven-minute attack “seemed like it went on forever.” When the young men fled for cover, the bear left, leaving them to rely on their outdoor training.
He also describes their first aid training as “absolutely critical in our survival as a group.”
With Alaska State Troopers and the National Guard looking for them, the teens set up tents monitoring each other's condition throughout the night until help arrived five hours later.
“We started off by controlling bleeding and finding major injuries,” said 16-year-old Sam Boas, another survivor.
“You are not just going to have a park ranger come to you in the middle of the night. You really have to rely on yourself and those with you,” said 17-year-old Sam Melman, another survivor.
It is this kind of bravery that helped them hold on until a Helo 1 helicopter and a Rescue Coordination Center plane arrived. “I don't think that we would have made it in the night,” said Boas.
Despite the traumatic event, it's not stopping these guys from doing what they love.
“It was scary, but you have to expect the worst when you go outside,” said Allaine.
“It was unfortunate what happened to us but I am definitely going back into the wilderness,” said Boas.