Oscar Mesak 06-17-02
Yake J. Nick 06-19-02


Two men drown in separate Kuskokwim, Kwethluk incidents

Two men were found Wednesday drowned in the Kuskokwim and Kwethluk rivers, Alaska State Troopers said.

The body of Oscar Mesak, who had been missing since Monday, was found around 7:30 p.m. in a slough near Oscarville on the Kuskokwim.

His wife told troopers Monday that she had not seen her husband since 4:30 a.m. His skiff was later found stuck in a sand bar on the Kuskokwim near Oscarville, said troopers spokesman Greg Wilkinson. Evidence showed that he tried to push the skiff back into the water but couldn't. He likely tried to swim across the river and drowned, Wilkinson said.

Another man, Yako J. Nick, was found at 1:20 a.m. Wednesday in the Kwethluk.

Witnesses told troopers that they saw Nick, 26, of Kwethluk driving his boat erratically and also standing up in the boat. He lost his balance, and they saw him fall in the water. He tried to get to shore but struggled and then disappeared underwater, Wilkinson said.

Nick's body surfaced about eight minutes later. A passing boat took him to shore but efforts to revive him failed, Wilkinson said.

-- Anchorage Daily News