Alaska News

Point Hope whaler seriously injured during spring bowhead hunt

A Point Hope whaling crew member was seriously injured recently in an accident during the spring bowhead whale hunt, according to the Arctic Slope Regional Corp.

The injured crew member was Rex Rock Jr., the son of Tikiġaq whaling captain and ASRC president Rex Rock Sr., corporation spokesman Ty Hardt wrote in an e-mail.

Rock Jr. was hurt when an "explosive charge" in a darting gun detonated during a bowhead whale hunt off Point Hope on April 21, Hardt wrote.

Rock Jr. was rushed to shore, where military crews in town for a training event gave him emergency care and arranged a medevac to Anchorage.

Rock Jr. is being treated at the Alaska Native Medical Center for "multiple injuries." He lost three fingers on his left hand.

"His condition is stable and continuing to improve," Hardt wrote.

Michelle Theriault Boots

Michelle Theriault Boots is a longtime reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. She focuses on in-depth stories about the intersection of public policy and Alaskans' lives. Before joining the ADN in 2012, she worked at daily newspapers up and down the West Coast and earned a master's degree from the University of Oregon.