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Alaska Beat

2 dead in canoe accident on Eagle River Wednesday

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published August 8, 2012

Two women were killed Wednesday afternoon in a canoeing accident on Eagle River, a few miles north of Anchorage. Anchorage police identified the two victims on Thursday as 60-year-old Fern Johnson of Plains, Mont. and 48-year-old Carol Heater of Kalispell, Mont. Fern's husband, Robert Johnson, was also in the canoe and was rescued.

Anchorage police said that the trio were traveling together in a canoe down Eagle River when they encountered a log jam, which they maneuvered the canoe into so they could paddle to shore. On their way to the east shore, a faster current flipped the canoe, and Fern Johnson and Heater became trapped beneath the log jam. Robert Johnson was able to climb on top of the obstruction.

Another man, Robert Voris of Eagle River, was also accompanying the group in a kayak. Police said that all four members of the party were wearing life jackets. Alaska State Troopers and the Anchorage police and fire departments all assisted in the rescue and recovery efforts.

Here's a slideshow of images from the scene from KTVA Channel 11 News.

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