One man dead, another missing, in Chignik Lake boating accident

Chignik Lake. July 2019. (Alex Hager/KDLG)

One man died and another is missing after a boat capsized in Chignik Lake Saturday afternoon, according to a dispatch from Alaska State Troopers. 

The Coast Guard recovered the body of 42-year-old Fred Shangin of Chignik Lake Saturday evening. He died from cold water exposure, troopers said. 

Nicholas Garner, 39, also of Chignik Lake, is still missing. Taylor Lind, 24, was also in the boat and was rescued.

According to troopers, the three men had loaded a snowmachine on the bow of a skiff.

“Three individuals were transporting it to the north side of Chignik Lake when they hit a wave and the boat capsized,” said Austin McDaniel, a public information officer with the state troopers. “The skiff floated for around half an hour until they were able to get to the edge of the ice on the lake.”

Lind was able to save himself. 

The troopers report that Shangin could not get off the top of the capsized skiff and succumbed to the cold while it was drifting. Garner hung onto the side of the boat, but was eventually submerged under water and did not reappear. Troopers say the men were not wearing life vests.

Two people, 24-year-old Kevin O’Domin and 21-year-old Denise Bereskin, were on shore but could not get to the boat to help with the rescue, according to troopers. A second boat arrived to assist with the rescue, driven by Jamie O’Domin and a 16-year-old minor, but troopers say it could not reach the capsized skiff because of ice.

Troopers were called to the area around 3 p.m. Saturday and the Coast Guard arrived around 6:30 p.m.

The Coast Guard transported Lind and those trying to help with the rescue to Chignik Bay. All are from Chignik Lake.

Local residents have been unable to search for Garner due to a winter storm. Troopers say search efforts will resume once the storm clears.

Contact the author at isabelle@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200.

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