Body of Akiachak man recovered

Posted: Tuesday, May 02, 2000

BETHEL (AP) -- The body of an Akiachak man who fell through the ice of the Gweek River has been recovered.

Richard Alexie, 29, a Village Public Safety Officer, and fellow officer Roland Noes, 31, were snowmachining Saturday from Bethel to Akiachak when their snowmachine fell through the ice, Alaska State Troopers said.

The accident occurred approximately 9 miles from Akiachak, about a half-mile upriver from the Kuskokwim River.

Both of the men fell into the freezing water. Noes was able to crawl out of the water and onto the ice, but Alexie drowned.

Noes began walking from the accident into Akiachak, but was picked up by another Akiachak police officer returning from a hunting trip.

After hearing of the accident, an Alaska State Trooper pilot out of Bethel flew Akiachak Police Chief Alex Larson and Village Public Safety Officer David Charles from Bethel, where they were attending a community policing seminar.

Larson and Charles organized a search party that looked through the night. Searchers pulled Alexie's body from the Gweek River about 9 miles downriver from Akiachak early Sunday afternoon.

State Troopers say 25 people have died in snowmachine-related fatalities since October of last year.

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