Troopers: 2 men drown in Kasilof River, neither wearing a life jacket
The Alaska State Troopers responded to the Kasilof River where two men were found dead on Sunday.
AST was dispatched to the river around 3:48 p.m. Troopers say the men were reported to have been found one mile upriver from the mouth of Kasilof River.
Fishermen who were in the area recovered the bodies individually roughly an hour apart, AST says.
Troopers report the men were not wearing lifejackets and suspect they drowned. According to AST, the men were out canoeing when the accident occurred. AST said an official determination will be made by State Medical Examiner's office on how both men died, but say there is no indication of foul play involved.
Troopers identified the men by their Alaska driver's licenses as 57-year-old Harold Andrew Crossett and 64-year-old Reuben Arthur Kimball Sr., both lived in Kasilof.
AST says they can't stress enough the importance of wearing life jackets while boating.
"Tragedies like this underscore the importance of wearing personal floatation devices while enjoying time on the water," AST spokesman Ken Marsh said. "Our Department of Natural Resources hosts the very well-known Kids Don’t Float program."
AST says it is unclear whether or not both men would have survived the canoe accident if they'd been wearing life jackets. Troopers do not know what happened leading up to both men falling in the water. Troopers said the medical examiner will determine if a medical incident or drugs and alcohol were involved.
Marsh went on to say, "[...] We’re reminded today that Alaska’s powerful rivers and generally cold water conditions are also not adult-friendly. When boating in Alaska it’s always good policy to wear – not sit on or have stowed – a personal floatation device."
The case is not being investigated as a crime and next of kin has been notified.
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