An overnight search for a 79-year-old woman who went missing near an Alaskan glacier during a cruise ship shore excursion ended without finding her – but it all worked out in the end.
The woman, a passenger on Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess, walked into Juneau’s Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Centre the following morning. She had set out on a solo hiking excursion while the ship was in port and got lost on the East Glacier Trail. While the ship sailed to its next stop, Ketchikan, the woman remained lost in a vast Alaskan forest, without camping gear. She spent the night there.
Juneau police, who had launched a full but fruitless search for the missing passenger well into the night – were relieved to learn that the woman had turned up next morning “tired and wet but in good shape”.
“She’s a hardy soul,” Kirby Day, port manager for Princess Cruises, told the Juneau Empire. “She is a strong lady, and she knew what she was doing. She did all the right things except for making one wrong turn.”
Alaska can get cold, but at this time of year, minimum temperatures in Juneau are a relatively balmy 13 C.
Police officers picked up the woman from the glacier and drove her to the airport. From there, she flew to Ketchikan to rejoin Coral Princess and continue her cruise, no doubt with an interesting tale to tell.
Written by Peter Needham