Monday Jul 16 2012
Trip turns dangerous for Folsom-based TV crew
By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
Team released from Russian custody, turns to new trek
For six American men, a trip across the Bering Strait on jet skis ended up as an international incident involving Russian authorities last week. Filming for the reality TV series ?Dangerous Waters,? starring Folsom resident Steven Moll, 41, the crew was greeted by a tank and armed Russian military personnel when they hit the shoreline in the Chukotka region of Russia. The team had apparently ended up in a military zone and were taken into custody. Days of uncertainty followed for the family and friends of Moll. His wife, Annette, told news organizations she could tell he was scared. Moll was allowed to keep his cell phone and kept his family updated with text messages and the occasional photo. They also posted a few videos to YouTube. Last week?s four-night, five-day incident made headlines in Russia and the U.S., hitting newspapers such as the Moscow Times, New York Times and Sacramento Bee, as well as The Folsom Telegraph and El Dorado Hills Telegraph. Eventually, they were allowed to leave and return back across the Bering Strait to Alaska, but not on to their originally planned destination of Vietnam. Moll takes issue with Russian accounts indicated his paperwork wasn?t in order. ?For the record,? Moll sent via text, ?we had our visas from the Russian Consulate in San Francisco. We had our Russian state-side consulate fighting for us and our Russian fixer in South Russia (was) fighting for us.? He said there was no way he?d risk breaking the law by entering the country illegally. ?We never would have entered Russia without the proper paperwork,? Moll wrote. ?Even the USA customs (people), when we returned to the USA, said this portion of the Russian coast is difficult to deal with.? Moll said it was still an accomplishment to cross the Bering Strait twice within a week. ?Now we will simply re-route and head towards the Northwest Passage,? he said. ?We will return (to) Russia and next time we?ll have a great reception.? Now they plan to head toward Iceland, according to Moll. For more on ?Dangerous Waters,? visit folsomtelegraph.com or visit them at facebook.com/seadooadventures.