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Body of Ambler Man Recovered From the Kobuk River After Falling Through Ice

An aerial view of near-shore ocean ice near the village of Shaktoolik, Alaska.
Wintertime shore ice near the village of Shaktoolik. Photo: Laura Kraegel, KNOM (2018).

Five days after a lone snowmachiner traveling to Kobuk was reported overdue, his body has now been found.

According to a report from Alaska State Troopers, Alvin Williams of Ambler left the community around 3am on Thursday, May 2. Troopers say Williams was headed to Kobuk, less than 40 miles away, and by 1:30pm he was reported overdue.

A search and rescue group from the Northwest Arctic Borough located Williams’ snowmachine that same day along the Kobuk River trail but could not find the rider. The machine had fallen through the ice a mile south of Kobuk and was completely submerged in water.

Troopers were notified just after 12am Sunday morning that Williams had been recovered from the river. 

It is believed he died after going into the water and was subsequently carried down river by the current, under the ice. Williams’ body is being sent to the State Medical Examiner to determine the exact cause of death.

Image at top: file photo: Wintertime shore ice near the village of Shaktoolik. Photo: Laura Kraegel, KNOM.

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We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.