Martitia Panruk 2010-08-07
Nolan Slim

Two children drown on berry-picking trip

By JAMES HALPIN,, Published: August 9th, 2010

Two young children drowned near Kipnuk over the weekend when their family's boat flipped on a berry-picking trip, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Troopers say 2-year-old Martitia Panruk and her uncle, 6-year-old Nolan Slim, died after they fell into the Kipnuk River about 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

The children had been on a berry-picking outing with family members at the time of the accident, troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said. Eight people were in the 18-foot Lund skiff when it hit the bank and flipped, dumping everyone into the river, which was less than 20 feet wide at the spot, she said.

Everyone but the two children was able to get out unharmed. Kipnuk search and rescue volunteer teams pulled the children's bodies from the water.

There were no life jackets in the boat, Peters said.

The cause of the accident remained under investigation. Troopers say alcohol did not appear to be involved.

Find James Halpin online at or call him at 257-4589.