Boater dies in creek northwest of Central

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Published: May. 29, 2023 at 5:26 PM AKDT|Updated: May. 30, 2023 at 3:47 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTUU) - A boating trip for four family members turned deadly on Sunday when their aluminum riverboat capsized while floating Birch Creek northwest of Central.

According to the Alaska State Troopers, authorities on Monday morning recovered the body of 40-year-old Candi Hendrickson, who died on Sunday. The others in the boat — who survived — have been identified as 41-year-old Jacob Hendrickson, from Central, Alaska, and his two children, ages 6 and 14. Next-of-kin notifications have been completed.

“Birch Creek is swollen with excessive water that can hide obstacles in the water increasing the risk to boaters,” trooper spokesperson Tim DeSpain said.

Numerous people from Central assisted with the emergency, traveling by boat and aircraft to the creek. Troopers say a Super Cub plane pinpointed the location of Hendrickson and the two children before “local search parties also responded and rescued Jacob and the two children and located (Candi) deceased in Birch Creek.”

“They were attempting a turn and hit the high bank of the river,” DeSpain said. “The boat overturned trapping the victim under the submerged boat, but Jacob and the two kids were thrown out of the boat.”

Troopers deployed their Helo 2 helicopter to aid in the search and rescue effort. The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center was also contacted in the course of the rescue.

The boaters were stranded on a riverbank about eight miles from the Birch Creek Bridge on the Steese Highway.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional information.