Iowa Dad Drowns After Getting 'Swept Down' River by Current While Trying to Save Son at Alaska Park

The 47-year-old man, identified as Matthew Burns of Keokuk, Iowa, was unable to free himself from the strong current

An Iowa father died after trying to save his adult son at a national park in Alaska, authorities said.

Alaska Department of Public Safety confirmed that the 47-year-old man, identified later as Matthew Burns, of Keokuk, Iowa, drowned after he was unable to escape the current near the Tanalian Waterfall at Lake Clark National Park and Reserve.

Burns and his 21-year-old son were wading at the base of the waterfall on Aug. 19 when the younger man was pulled into the water, according to a statement from Alaska DPS. Burns then entered the water to help his son and got "caught by the current and swept down the river," the National Park Service said in a separate statement.

"The initial report indicated that the son was able to exit the river immediately, but the father disappeared," authorities added.

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First responders from the Port Alsworth Volunteer Fire Department and medical personnel from the Southcentral Foundation Lake Clark Wellness Center were unable to revive Burns after he was pulled from the water, the National Park Service said in a release.

His body was transferred to the state medical examiner Saturday night, per the National Park Service.

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No foul play is suspected, but rangers are investigating the man’s death, The Sacramento Bee reported.

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"The National Park Service thanks all of the local community members and volunteer rescue personnel who worked together to respond to this incident," officials said. "Lake Clark National Park extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends affected by this event."

Lake Clark National Park and Reserve, a remote park accessible only by boat or airplane, is located about 120 miles southwest of Anchorage.

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