The Wednesday death of an Anchorage man working for a geophysical services company at a drilling job site west of Homer is under investigation by Alaska State Troopers.
A Thursday AST dispatch says that troopers were called at about 4:20 p.m. Wednesday by an operations supervisor with SAExploration, who reported the death of 26-year-old subcontractor Brian Mitvitnikoff while walking between two drilling sites near Chinitna Bay, about 50 miles from Homer across Cook Inlet. Troopers from Anchor Point responded to investigate.
AST spokesperson Megan Peters says Mitvitnikoff’s colleagues became concerned after receiving a garbled transmission from him, then found his body when they conducted a search.
“He was going from one site to another, he said something over his radio,” Peters said. “It was not very clear.”
According to SAExploration’s website, the firm provides “seismic data acquisition services to the oil and gas industry in North America, South America, and Southeast Asia.”
In a statement Thursday afternoon the company's executive chairman, Jeff Hastings, identifies Mitvitnikoff as a subcontractor with Crew 84, which was working to support seismic drilling operations. He says SAExploration is cooperating with troopers as they investigate Mitvitnikoff's death.
"This is a heartfelt loss of a bright young man and valued member of our Alaska team," Hastings wrote. "The entire company extends our sincere condolences to the friends and family. The thoughts and prayers of everyone at SAExploration are with them."
While troopers didn’t find any signs of foul play, Peters says no determination as to how Mitvitnikoff died will be made until his body arrives at the state medical examiner’s office in Anchorage for an autopsy. His next of kin have been notified.
Contact Chris Klint