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NC athlete ‘lucky to be alive’ after Iditarod Trail mishap

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A North Carolina man survived a fall into a frozen river during the Iditarod Trail Invitational in Alaska.

According to WLOS, Peter Ripmaster fell while attempting to cross a river. He used a pole to check the ground to make sure the river was frozen, but after taking the first step, he fell into the icy water.

Ripmaster was able to float to the edge of the water where he pulled himself to safety after several attempts.

He told his wife, Kristen, that he had to run about four miles to the nearest town to find help.

“I went under. I went fully under, and they all came out and started helping him right away,” Kristen relayed how Peter explained what happened.

Despite his close call, Ripmaster decided to continue on with the race. Kristen told WLOS that he reached the 350-mile mark of the 1,000-mile race.

To track Ripmaster’s progress as he makes his way along the trail, click here.