Body found in Eek search and rescue

by Angela Denning-Barnes on July 30, 2012

Yako Fisher, age 34, of Kwethluk was found deceased Sunday in the Eenayarak River, a tributary of the Kuskokwim River North of Eek. According to the Alaska State Troopers, Fisher and his wife were berry picking and staying at a cabin about 25 miles up the river early last week.

On Thursday, Fisher left the cabin alone and headed downriver in a 16 foot Lund boat.

On Friday morning, John Friendly, the Village Public Safety Officer in Eek found out that Fisher’s wife was left alone. Troopers spokesperson, Megan Peters said, “The VPSO went out there, transported her back to Eek, and the search began.”

Troopers in Bethel were notified Friday at noon that Fisher was missing. They launched aircraft to search for him and ground teams from Eek, Tuntutuliak, Napakiak and Napaskiak responded. Bethel Search and Rescue also helped with supplies.

Fisher’s boat was located Friday night around 9 p.m. about 12 miles downriver from the cabin. However, conditions made search and rescue efforts difficult. Heavy rain and high winds continued Friday night and throughout Saturday.

Searchers dragging the river eventually recovered Fisher’s body on Sunday, July 29 at about 3:30 p.m. He was in the water near where his boat was found.

Troopers believe that alcohol was a contributing factor and that no foul play is suspected.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office requested that his body be sent to Anchorage for an autopsy.

Fisher was the second man from Kwethluk to perish in the river last week. George Maxie, age 25 of Kwethluk, was found dead by searchers in the Napaskiak Slough, July 24.

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