Family member identifies whale hunters killed in Alaska

In this Aug. 12, 2005, file photo, a boat drives past a skin boat display near whale bones and an arch made of a whale jaw on the beach in Utqiagvik, Alaska. (AP Photo/Al Grillo, File)

By RACHEL D’ORO
Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – A family member has identified two Alaska whale hunters who died after their boat capsized as they towed a whale.

Pausauraq Jana Harcharek of Utqiagvik said Tuesday her cousin Ron Ron Kanayurak, a whaling crew member, died in the Sunday accident.

She says the other man was whaling Capt. Roxy Oyagak Jr. Both men lived in Utqiagvik.

Officials at Alaska’s North Slope Borough have refused to release information about the accident, including the victims’ names.

Harcharek says the deaths have been devastating.

She says people still had to cut up the whale meat when it was towed to town, despite their grief.

The Artic Sounder newspaper reported the accident occurred when the boat flipped in rough water.

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