Troopers received a call at 5:52 pm Sunday evening that a man, now identified as 20-year-old Zachary Porter of Illinois, was trapped in the mud of the mudflats near Hope in Turnagain Arm. The tide had turned a couple of hours earlier and was rapidly rising. “Troopers and rescue teams from the Hope Sunrise Fire Department and Girdwood Fire Department responded to the scene,” AST stated, but those teams were unsuccessful in getting Porter extracted from the mud.
At 6:43 pm, Porter was submerged in the rising tide and drowned at the scene.
The rescue teams retrieved Porter’s remains at 6 am Monday morning.
The public is warned that walking on the mudflats can be extremely hazardous. It is advised that a person on the flats continues to move as one quickly sinks in the mud if staying in one place. The public is further advised to not venture on the flats alone and to call for assistance before the mud reaches one’s knees.
Two to three people get trapped in the Turnagain mud flats each year on average.