Fisher Men Save Drowning Bear Cub
Kenai River guide Dustin Klepacki, 22, did not expect to perform a rescue mission when he, his father and their friend floated the upper river last weekend.
They just wanted to avoid all the combat fishing — just float rapids and fish trout down river, he said.
But after a section of rapids, their sunny scene changed — a brown bear cub was drowning in a whirlpool.
“So we’re getting closer and closer and this thing starts screaming,” said Mike Polocz, Klepacki’s father and Alaska H2O Pros owner. “And we’re like, `What do we do here? What do we do here?”’
The sow and another cub watched from shore, frightened off by the approaching boat as the three assumed their roles.
Polocz grabbed a net, Klepacki gripped the oars and their friend Charlie Mettiale filmed from his iPhone.
Polocz said he was trying to bump the bear out of the whirlpool with the net. If he could do that, he said, then the bear could swim ashore.
But the more they tried, the more the two parties fumbled. The whirlpool just spun the boat in circles, Polocz said, and the bear became increasingly frantic.