Gift them with a safe return home while on Alaska’s waterways. The gift of safety saves more than money.
The water was a balmy 80 degrees and calm. A wave rippled across its surface as a small, orange boat sank to the waterline. The four people aboard quickly exited the boat into the water. A voice overhead was instructing them to “conserve energy and float nearby.”
When seven-year-old Sam Fredrickson plunged into the water during a hunting trip with his father, Walter Washington Sr., and a family friend, near Angoon, Alaska, it was Sam’s quick thinking and use of boating safety equipment that ultimately saved their lives.
It’s only natural that the people of river communities spend a lot of time on, or near, the water, even at an early age. With so many boaters using the frigid, powerful river, its inherent ability to take life contrasts harshly to its life-giving benefits. All over Alaska, waters like the Kuskokwim contribute to one of the highest boating fatality rates in the nation.