Multiple agencies searching for man who fell into the Tanana River Sunday

By  | 

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) UPDATE:

Members of the Airport Police and Fire Department launch a boat to drag the Tanana River in search of the body of Alfraz Sajd Khan. Khan went into the river Sunday while trying to save his dog. (John Dougherty/KTVF)

We spoke with Sajid Khan, father of Alfaz, at the scene of the search.
"My child has been missing since yesterday noon, and we have been doing searches rescue efforts ever since, so both on air, land, and water of course," Sajid said.

He said they are scouring every inch of the river in hopes for a happy ending.

The search is being led by Alaska Wildlife Troopers and organized by the volunteer Wilderness Search and Rescue team. Fawn Fields is the Search Manager and said that they have around ten boats searching the area where Alfaz fell in, as well as a few miles downstream. They also have fixed wing aircraft, helicopters and drones assisting in the search.

Wildlife Trooper Sergeant Dan Valentine said that they are bringing up side scanning sonar from Anchorage to assist with the search.

Alfaz was a member of the Alaska Air Guard and many of the volunteers helping the search are from his unit. Fields said that there are over 50 people helping to search.

"We all, you know, came out of work to come here to search for him and we have been splitting up into groups of four, two to four groups and we've just been walking sections of the Tanana," said fellow airman Trevor Correa.

Searchers are also using dogs to try and locate where in the water Alfaz could be. They are using boats to drag the river in locations indicated by dogs.

Trooper Valentine said that this is a recovery effort not a rescue, "We are searching in places that you wouldn't be able to survive if you were down there.”

However, Sajif is holding onto hope, “I believe in Devine miracle. I see my Alfaz waving saying dad I am here. I love you Alfaz.” And he said he will keep looking. "And I know my child, we will find him. Until then I won't rest."

ORIGINAL STORY:
Alaska State Troopers are conducting a search for a man in the Tanana River. Alfaz Sajd Khan, 22, of Salcha, was fishing when his dog went into the river. Khan went after the dog to save it.

According to troopers, the dog made it back to shore, but officials are still conducting a search effort for Khan, who was last seen 50 yards from shore when he submerged and was not seen again.

Numerous local, state and federal agencies are assisting in the search. The Wilderness Search and Rescue is leading the search for Khan. They said there are over 10 boats helping in the search and over 50 people. Many of the volunteers are from Khan’s Air National Guard unit. Searchers are walking along the shore and islands on the Tanana. There are also boats dragging the bottom of the river as well as fixed wing aircraft, a helicopter and drone assisting in the search.

Alaska Wildlife Trooper Sergeant Dan Valentine said that they consider the search a recovery and not rescue.

The situation is ongoing and this story will be updated as details emerge.

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.