ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Red Cross honored 10 Alaskans for courageous, life-saving acts on Tuesday.
One of the honorees, a teenager from Kotlik, saved a fisherman who’d plunged into the icy Yukon River.
Samuel Okitkun said his rescue at first got him in a bit of trouble with his mom — she was angered he’d walked on the thin ice.
But if Okitkun hadn’t risked his own life, Bernard Hunt may have died.
Hunt was riding on a snowmachine that broke through the ice, couldn’t swim, and was being pulled beneath by the strong current. With only his fingertips visible, Okitkun rushed across the ice and to the edge of the hole to pull hunt up from the depths.
“I would like to receive this award not only for myself but for the many people in the villages who have done many acts of heroism and whose stories have not been told,” Okitkun said.