Alaska News

Marine scientist dies during dive in Southeast Alaska

Multiple agencies are investigating the death of a marine scientist who died Wednesday during a research dive in Southeast Alaska near Gustavus, the National Park Service said.

Umihiko Hoshijima, 27, was conducting a research dive operation in Torch Bay, off the coast of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, when he was found unresponsive on the surface of the water, according to a National Park Service statement released Thursday.

Hoshijima, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz, studied the resilience of marine life against climate change, the park service said. Authorities believe he was involved in a project surveying shallow, underwater plots off the U.S. Geological Survey vessel Gyre at the time of his death.

Hoshijima’s colleagues attempted CPR to no avail. The park service said his body was taken to Juneau and released to the state medical examiner, who will determine the cause of death.

Hoshijima’s website says he studied both temperate and polar marine environments. Photos from the site appear to show at least one prior research trip to Southeast Alaska.

He was also a first-generation immigrant and musician, in addition to being a researcher, the website says.