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Hiker dies after plunging off cliff into Alaska river

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A hiker has died after falling into a river in a remote part of northern Alaska,  the U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday. His companion was rescued by helicopter.

The Coast Guard did not release the identity or nationality of the victim, who slipped off a cliff in the Brooks Range on Wednesday night. The companion, Olaf Schooll of Norway, was rescued, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

The two men had been trying to hike across the northern part of Alaska, from the Canadian border to the Bering Sea, the statement said.

The accident occurred at Atigun Gorge, a spot about 240 miles southeast of Barrow, it said.

Schooll used a satellite telephone to call for help, the statement said. A Coast Guard air crew found him, hoisted him into a helicopter and flew him to Barrow.

More Alaska coverage from NBC station KTUU in Anchorage

Crew members found his dead companion about a mile downstream in the Atigun River, but terrain and water conditions prevented the recovery of the man's body at that time, the Coast Guard said. Searchers were attempting on Thursday to recover the body.


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