Update: On 12/21/2018 at approximately 11 a.m., Alaska State Troopers flew over Big Lake near Burston Island with a department helicopter. AST was able to determine the location of one individual. SAR personnel was able to successfully recover a person from the lake. Family identified the person as Laverne Pettigen, 64 of Anchorage. Following the recovery, sonar was placed in the water in an attempt to locate Vanton Pettigen. Also being utilized is a ROV. Search efforts for V. Pettigen are ongoing. Next of kin has been appraised of the situation.
On 12/18/2018 Alaska State Troopers received a request by a family member for a welfare check on Laverne Pettigen, age 64 of Anchorage, and Vanton Pettigen, age 66 of Anchorage, who had not been heard from since Friday, 12/14/2018 at 3 p.m.
Investigation found that their vehicles were parked at their condo in big Lake and confirmed both individuals were not at the location and that both snowmachines were missing from the garage. A friend stated they may have seen the couple on snowmachines on Big Lake at noon on Sunday which is the last known sighting of the couple. Search and rescue efforts were started and the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center (AKRCC) was activated and searched until the aircraft had to return for fuel and loss of daylight.
On 12/19/2018, Volunteer ground assets and RCC air assets have been coordinated to begin rescue efforts. AWT is assisting with aircraft and snow machines. MAT SAR has been activated and are responding with two ground units, two motorized units, and the MAT SAR communications trailer is responding to the Big Lake area. Rescue efforts are ongoing. Updates to follow.