After receiving a report of an overturned skiff in the Ugashik River near Pilot Point with four people in the water at 8:55 am on Sunday morning, the United States Coast Guard , Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Wildlife Trooper’s Helo-3 responded to the scene.
The preliminary investigation at the scene found that the four men were engaged in the fishery on the Ugashik River when the skiff overturned and dumped all four of the men into the water.
Two of the four men were able to climb on top of the overturned skiff and hold on until other fishermen on the river could respond to the accident. 47-year-old Earnest Pierce of Nine Mile Falls, Washington and 24-year-old Michael Park of West Richland, Washington were safely retrieved from the overturned vessel.
But, the other two, an adult male and a 17-year-old juvenile attempted to swim to shore. The adult male was later found in the water. He was unresponsive when he was found. Attempts to resuscitate were not successfull
A search was mounted by rescuers and the USCG helicopter to look for the juvenile male. The search was continued through the day but was unsuccessful in locating the missing juvenile.
The USCG suspended the search on Sunday evening pending further information.
It was reported that none of the persons in the skiff were wearing personal floatation devices.
“Even in the warmer summer months, preparedness is vital to ensure a safe outing on Alaska’s waters,” said Paul Webb, a Coast Guard 17th District command center search and rescue mission coordinator. “File a float plan, carry reliable communications equipment, and always wear a lifejacket.”
Alaska State Troopers are in the process of locating next of kin.