An Illinois man died Sunday after he became stuck up to his waist in Alaska mud flats and drowned when the tide came in, authorities said.
According to a news release from Alaska State Troopers, Zachary Porter, 20, became stuck in the Turnagain Arm mud flats near Hope at about 5:52 p.m. local time.
Porter was walking with a group of friends when he became stuck, state trooper spokesperson Austin McDaniel told the Anchorage Daily News in an email. A friend immediately called 911; Porter was stuck in the quicksand-like silt about 50 to 100 feet from shore, Girdwood Fire Chief Michelle Weston told the newspaper.
A 20-year-old Illinois man died Sunday evening after rescuers were unable to free him from the Turnagain Arm mud flats near Hope as the tide rose, Alaska State Troopers said.https://t.co/3nWU4NLeVs— Anchorage Daily News (@adndotcom) May 22, 2023
Troopers said that Porter was “submerged by the incoming tide,” KTUU-TV reported.
According to tide tables, low tide in that area of Turnagain Arm was reported at 4:02 p.m., while high tide was at 9:44 p.m., the television station reported.
Turnagain Arm is a 48-mile-long estuary formed by glaciers that parallels a major highway southeast of Anchorage, The Associated Press reported.
Porter was already waist-deep in the mud when the first rescue crews arrived, McDaniel told the Daily News. Porter became submerged by the incoming tide and drowned at 6:43 p.m., state troopers said.
Troopers said that Porter’s body was recovered at around 6 a.m. Monday, KTUU reported.
“(Alaska is) big, it’s amazing, it’s beautiful, and it’s overwhelming,” Kristy Peterson, the administrator and lead EMT for the Hope-Sunrise Volunteer Fire Department, told the AP. “But you have to remember that it’s Mother Nature, and she has no mercy for humanity.”