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Dillingham man found dead following four-day search after boat sank near Whittier

Courtesy of the Alaska State Troopers

Luki Akelkok, 28, of Dillingham and Stefan Weingarth, 28, of Anchorage were coming back from a hunting trip on Esther Island when they encountered bad weather on Wednesday, Troopers said. 

A Dillingham man was found dead Saturday after a four-day search and rescue effort near Whittier, according to an update from Alaska State Troopers. 

Luki Akelkok III, 28, had been missing since a boating accident last week.

Family members and the owner of another vessel involved in the search found Akelkok’s boat in Logging Camp Bay around 12:10 p.m. Saturday, which is nine miles northeast of Whittier. The group found Akelkok’s body in the water near his vessel 30 minutes later.

Troopers said Akelkok was not wearing a personal floatation device at the time of recovery, and that his body appeared to had drifted about five miles from the site of the accident before coming to rest.

Akelkok and 28-year-old Stefan Weingarth of Anchorage were coming back from a hunting trip on Esther Island near Whittier Wednesday night when their boat sank due to inclement weather. The U.S. Coast Guard and Alaska Wildlife Troopers in Whittier began search and rescue operations immediately.

Weingarth was found by the coast guard Wednesday night and was pronounced dead early Thursday morning. Akelkok was not found until Saturday. The search was also slowed by poor weather conditions on Thursday and Friday.

Wildlife Troopers responded to conduct a follow-up investigation after Akelkok was found. Next of kin have been notified of the recovery. His body was transported to Anchorage by request of the State Medical Examiner’s Office.

Contact the author at or 907-842-2200.

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