Living in Alaska comes with its challenges. For many Alaskans in remote areas, crossing icy rivers and lakes comes with the territory. Warming temperatures have caused the normal freeze and thaw times to vary greatly in Alaska.
People fall through the ice every year in Alaska and it is fatal about 35% of the time. In this case, the Napakiak man, Charlie Lupie, was traveling via snowmobile over lake ice when he fell through. He managed to get himself to safety but died from exposure trying to make the rest of the journey on foot to the town of Bethel, Alaska.
About 50% of falls through the ice in Alaska occur on snowmobiles. In general a good rule of thumb for ice safety is it must be 4" to walk on it, 5" to snowmobile on it, and 8-12" to drive a regular sized vehicle on it.