Three Togiak Hunters Die in Vessel Capsize on Return Home

Location of Togiak. Image-Google Maps

Location of Togiak. Image-Google Maps

Three Togiak men out on the water in Southwest Alaska died when their vessel capsized on their return from a moose-hunting trip on Saturday.

Alaska State Troopers report that 31-year-old Eric Coopchiak, 39-year-old James Toots, and 29-year-old Larry Arnariak lost their lives as they were returning to their hometown of Togiak after a moose-hunt when their skiff capsized. Village police officers in Togiak reported to AST at 10:40 pm, that they had located the skiff near the mouth of the Togiak River.

Initial rescue efforts were unsuccessful.

The U.S. Coast Guard was notified of the incident and the failed rescue effort. The Coast Guard responded with a C-130 aircraft and a helicopter.

The bodies of the three men were recovered in the early morning on Sunday “after their remains washed ashore,” the trooper dispatch reported. According the report, none of the three men were wearing life preservers.

After the State Medical Examiner’s office was notified of the incident, the men’s remains were released to the victim’s families for funeral arraignments.