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Rural Alaska

Recovery efforts underway for man believed to have drowned in Yukon River

  • Author: Alex DeMarban
  • Updated: June 16, 2018
  • Published June 15, 2018

The Southwest Alaska village of Emmonak is seen from the air in 2016. (Lisa Demer / Anchorage Daily News)

An Emmonak man is believed to have drowned after the boat he and another man were traveling in collided with a log in the Yukon River, Alaska State Troopers said.

Troopers said in a statement late Thursday that Dennis Westlock, 23, was not found after the collision, reported to the troopers post in the Western Alaska village at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Brandon Johnson, 23 and also from Emmonak, survived. He was transported to the Emmonak clinic and treated for hypothermia.

The accident was witnessed by Emmonak resident Darren Jennings, 27, the statement said.

Jennings "observed a large splash from the boat and immediately went to try and help," troopers said. "Jennings observed the boat was empty and he saw two people in the river."

Jennings pulled Johnson into his boat but could not find Westlock, the statement said.

"Recovery efforts are ongoing," troopers said.

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