AK: Member of Utqiagvik whaling crew dies in hunting accident



A member of an Utqiagvik whaling crew died in an accident off Alaska’s North Slope on Thursday, according to the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission.

“The Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission (AEWC) grieves the loss of William Kittick, following a fatal whaling accident,” said an emailed statement from commission spokesperson Jenny Evans.

Kittick had been taking part in the spring subsistence bowhead whale hunt out of Utqiagvik, the whaling commission said. The accident occurred at a camp on the sea ice.

Utqiagvik crews have been busy this month with the beginning of the spring season, hunting from skin boats at the edge of the sea ice. A crew landed the first whale of the year on May 10, the same morning that the city saw the last sunset for more than two months.

Residents said multiple crews landed whales soon after, with the animals shared among the community.

Evans said the commission could not provide additional information about the accident.


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