A newlywed woman from Belarus who was swept away by a river in Alaska was trying to reach an abandoned bus made famous by the book and film Into the Wild.
Veramika Maikamava and her husband, Piotr Markielau, (both 24), were heading for the bus where hiker Christopher McCandless met his death in 1992.
The bus has been the source of multiple rescues since it was made famous, first by Jon Krakauer’s book published in 1996 and then by Sean Penn’s 2007 film. Both chronicled the life and death of McCandless, who hiked into the Alaska wilderness with little food and equipment and spent the summer living in the bus. McCandless was found dead in the bus almost four months later.
In 1992, Christopher McCandless spent 118 days living in the bus after hiking into the wilderness on the Stampede Trail with the intention of living off the land, only to die there after the swollen Teklanika blocked him from returning the way he had come. After John Krakauer told McCandless's story, first in an article for Outside and later in the best-selling book Into the Wild, the bus became a popular pilgrimage for tourists.
Not all of those hikers have had the equipment or experience to make the trip safely. According to the Alaska State Troopers, search and rescue personnel responded to 15 calls involving the bus between 2009 and 2017. One, a 29-year-old Swiss visitor, died while crossing the river in 2010.
Those not familiar with the Sean Penn film see below.