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Outdoors/Adventure

Fairbanks man dies in boating accident on Chena River

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: May 16
  • Published May 15

The body of a 64-year-old Fairbanks man was found Thursday in the Chena River, two days after he and another man pushed off on a boating trip and then went missing, Alaska State Troopers said.

The pair launched their boat Tuesday morning into the North Fork of the Chena River at Mile 44 of Chena Hot Springs Road, troopers said in an update Thursday. They were reported missing Wednesday before noon. Their vehicle was found parked at the boat launch.

The other man, 60-year-old James Fillion, was found alive Wednesday by a troopers helicopter just downstream of their boat, which got pinned in a log jam about five miles up the East Fork of the Chena River, troopers said. The helicopter picked up Fillion on a gravel bar

The body of Christopher Hight was found by searchers Thursday afternoon, troopers said. Search teams included troopers, state parks officials, Alaska Wilderness Search and Rescue, and PAWS Search and Rescue dogs.

The Chena River was running high with snowmelt on Tuesday, according to National Weather Service data.

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