Divers recover body of Chignik Lake man after boating accident

Chignik Lake. July 2019. (Alex Hager/KDLG)

The body of one of the two Chignik Lake men killed in a tragic boating accident the day after Christmas has been recovered by divers.

Alaska State Troopers report that the body of Nick Garner, 39, was found last Wednesday, four days after a skiff laden with a snowmachine in its bow hit a large wave and overturned with three men aboard.

A four-person volunteer search team with Alaska Dive, Search and Rescue and Recovery flew in from Anchorage.

Troopers spokesman Austin McDaniel said Monday that divers deployed side-scan sonar to comb the depths of the lake. The sonar device sends bursts of sound into the water, which then bounce off of the ground and other objects. That then reflects back to the sonar unit on the boat, which produces an image.

“They were able to locate his body using this sonar technology, and recover it and get it turned over to his family members there in Chignik Lake,” he explained.

Fred Shangin, 42, also perished from exposure after more than a half-hour lying on top of the capsized boat. Only 24-year-old Taylor Lind managed to get off the stricken boat and survive. A Coast Guard helicopter rescued four other people on the scene on the north side of Chignik Lake.

Chignik Lake is a community of less than 90 people located south of Dillingham on the Alaska Peninsula.