Ambler snowmachiner missing after apparent fall through ice near Kobuk
Multiple agencies are looking for an Ambler snowmachiner near Kobuk Friday, a day after Alaska State Troopers say he may have fallen through ice.
Northwest Arctic Borough Search and Rescue staff first reported 52-year-old Alvin Williams overdue at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, troopers wrote in an online dispatch. Williams had reportedly left Ambler en route to Kobuk, a trip of 30 to 40 miles, at about 3 a.m. Thursday.
Borough searchers on snowmachiners, supported by a troopers aircraft, began looking for Williams Thursday afternoon.
“At about [3:40 p.m. Thursday] his snowmachine was located on the river trail,” troopers wrote. “It had fallen through the ice and was submerged in water, about a mile south of Kobuk. Williams was not located and is suspected of going into the flowing river current and possibly under the ice.”
On Friday, troopers said ground searchers and Williams’ immediate relatives were searching the area where the vehicle was found, as well as “exposed water openings downstream from the snowmachine.”
The search for Williams comes after several deadly incidents involving people going through ice, prompting a warning from troopers to stay off frozen lakes and rivers. Earlier this week an Alaska Air National Guard helicopter crew rescued two snowmachiners near Bethel, after most of a four-person hunting party went through ice on the Yukon River; all four survived.
The Alaska Dive Search and Recovery Team has a series of tips on how to survive if you fall through ice.
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