Two Noorvik Residents Die in Skiff Overturn on the Kobuk on way to Kotzebue

Aerial view of the village of Noorvik.
Aerial view of the village of Noorvik.

On Friday afternoon, troopers were notified of two overdue boaters that failed to show up in Noorvik. According to the persons reporting the incident, the two boaters left Kotzebue at 8 pm the night before on the two-hour trip to Noorvik but never arrived.

After the two were reported overdue on Friday, the  Northwest Arctic Borough launched a SAR effort along with the Coast Guard. Approximately an hour into the search, the 16-foot Lund skiff was located overturned on the Kobuk River.

At approximately 7 pm, the remains of the two boaters, 43-year-old Henry Black and 40-year-old Diane Coffin, both of Noorvik were located on the river.

Their remains were transported to the State Medical Examiner’s office in Anchorage and their next of kin were notified of their death.