I know that the temperatures have been cold but the ice is still fairly new and not very thick on the rivers and most ponds yet. Remember that with flowing water the ice can vary greatly from section to section of the river. Give it some time guys. We loose too many people and these deaths are the 2nd and 3rd of the year which has just started.
Nov 21, 2:44 PM EST
Missing snowmachiners in western Alaska presumed dead
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Two snowmachiners are likely dead after falling through ice in western Alaska in separate incidents, according to Alaska State Troopers.
Both incidents happened in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region in recent days.
"They're looking for bodies in both of these (situations), and it's unfortunate," said trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson.
Albert Agathluk, 36, of the Yukon River village of Alakanuk, left Emmonak for home on Thursday and was reported missing on Friday. On Saturday, searchers found his boots and a glove under the ice near a hole on the Yukon River, troopers said.
Troopers in Bethel heard about another missing snowmachiner in Nunapitchuk, 22 miles northwest of Bethel, on Saturday morning. Teams began a search for Jason Riley, 21, of Nunapitchuk.
Searchers found his hat on the edge of the ice near an opening on the Johnson River. They later recovered his snowmachine in the same area.
Nunapitchuk Village public safety officer Jacob Tobeluk said Monday that about 50 feet from where the snowmachine was found, searchers "felt something under the water" that might be Riley's body. However, they were unable to pull it up.
Searchers were to resume work on Tuesday, he said.
"I went to high school with (Riley). He was one of my friends," Tobeluk said. "We are really hoping to find his body soon."
Wilkinson reminded snowmachiners that even though it's been cold for quite a while, ice forms slowly over moving water.
"People need to be really aware and know where they're going," he said.