News Release

Drowning in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve

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Date: August 23, 2023
Contact: Alaska Regional Office Public Affairs

Anchorage, AK – On Saturday, August 19, rangers at Lake Clark National Park and Preserve received a report that a father and his adult son had entered the water below the Tanalian Falls inside the southwest portion of the park and were caught by the current and swept down the river. The initial report indicated that the son was able to exit the river immediately, but the father disappeared.

Before rangers arrived, local volunteers from Port Alsworth spotted a person at the mouth of the Tanalian River. Local rescuers were able to recover the deceased, Matthew Burns, 47, of Keokuk, Iowa. 

CPR was initiated by members of the Port Alsworth Volunteer Fire Department, the local community, and medical personnel from the Southcentral Foundation Lake Clark Wellness Center, but resuscitation efforts were not successful.

The body was transferred on Saturday evening to the State Medical Examiner. National Park Service rangers continue to investigate the incident in cooperation with Alaska State Troopers. See their press release for supplemental details. No foul play is suspected.

The National Park Service thanks all of the local community members and volunteer rescue personnel who worked together to respond to this incident. Lake Clark National Park extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends affected by this event. 

Updated 8/24/2023 at 10:35am ADT

Last updated: August 24, 2023

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Port Alsworth, AK 99653


907 644-3626

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