Teen from Richmond survives bear attack in Alaska

July 24, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A young man from Richmond survived a bear attack and then helped care for two other injured teens in the Alaskan wilderness.

It happened Saturday, near the town of Talkeetna -- about 120 miles north of Anchorage. The 18-year-old had spent the last few weeks taking part in a survival course sponsored by the National Outdoor Leadership School.

Richmond native, Victor Martin, had never been camping a day in his life before joining a month-long survival course in the Alaskan wilderness. His family was shocked when Victor called explaining he'd been attacked by a giant grizzly bear.

"He said it was the size of my grandma's Lexus," said Victor's sister Carnisha Martin.

The 18-year-old Richmond High School student told them the bear mauled two students then turned and began chasing him.

"He said that when he saw the bear, he ran and then he looked back and then he fell. He saw the bear and then the bear got on him and then he started kicking the bear - he kicked it in the nose," said Carnisha Martin.

The bear ran off, but not before biting Victor several times in the ankles and feet. Two of the seven students were badly mauled and Victor was forced to use his survival skills to save their lives as they waited eight hours for help. It was the 24th day of a 30 day course and instructors had left them to survive as part of the program.

"How could they train them for only three weeks and then let them go out where bears are?" said Victor's grandmother Tonnette Martin.

Victor told his family to pray for the other two students who are in critical condition.

"He saved somebody's life because his friends could have been bleeding to death," said Victor's sister Victoriyae Martin.

Authorities say the grizzly bear had a cub and may have been trying to protect it. Victor is scheduled to fly home to Richmond Monday night.

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