EAGLE RIVER, Alaska — The Anchorage Police Department identified two Montana women as drowning victims in the Wednesday afternoon Eagle River canoe capsizing.
APD said 60-year-old Fern Johnson, of Plains, Montana, and 48-year-old Carol Heater, of Kalispell, Montana, died in a canoe accident around 3:00 p.m. after arriving in Alaska that afternoon.
The women were canoeing with Fern’s husband, Robert Johnson, and were accompanied by Robert Voris, an Eagle River resident in a kayak, descending Eagle River near mile 7.4 of Eagle River Road.
Police said the Johnsons and Heater came upon a log jam blocking the river and put the canoe up against the jam in a slow current and tried to paddle to the east bank of the river and were caught in fast current that overturned the canoe.
Lt. Dave Parker, Public Information Officer, said Robert Johnson survived after he caught on debris in the river and was rescued by Anchorage firefighters.
Police said all three people in the canoe were wearing life jackets.
The bodies were recovered by a joint effort with the Anchorage Fire Department, APD, and Alaska State Troopers, and the Alaska Air National Guard assisted.