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3 Tourists Found Dead on Alaska Glacial Lake

Calving glacier may have been a factor
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2019 12:20 PM CDT
A section of Valdez Glacier Lake is pictured in September 2016.   (Wikimedia/Enrico Blasutto)

(Newser) – Authorities are trying to determine how three German tourists died on a glacial lake in Alaska, though foul play is not suspected. A tour guide spotted two bodies floating in Valdez Glacier Lake around around 10am Tuesday, CBS News reports, and when they were recovered about four hours later a third body was found on an ice floe, according to Sheri Pierce, a rep for the coastal city of Valdez. The spot near the toe of Valdez Glacier "is largely hidden from view from the shore near the parking area," reports Anchorage Daily News.

Pierce notes the toe of the glacier was calving around the time the unidentified tourists—a 62-year-old man and a married couple, both 67—are believed to have arrived in an inflatable canoe. "It's dangerous getting near the face of glaciers like that," she tells the Daily News. "When those pieces of ice come in the water it creates a huge wake" that could've knocked the tourists out of their boat, Pierce adds, per CNN, noting "the water is so very cold there." There were no known witnesses to the deaths. All three were wearing life jackets. (Read more Alaska stories.)

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