Family Remembers Lake Bluff Man Who Died After Being Submerged in Mud Flats in Alaska – NBC Chicago

A 20-year-old man from Lake Bluff was killed Sunday when Alaska State Troopers say he became trapped in the Turnagain Arm mud flats near the town of Hope, about 90 miles south of Anchorage.

Zachary Porter was submerged in the mud flats after a tide came in, with first responders unable to rescue him after a member of his group called 911.

Porter’s body was recovered the following morning.

“Losing a child is something no one should ever have to experience,” Porter’s mother, Susan Rider told Breaking News Of World.

“He was on the way to being this amazing adult. Part of what enabled him to do that was having a variety of experiences in a community that loved him,” she continued.

Porter was on a trip with several college friends. His family says the Washington University sophomore was athletic and adventurous.

“They were just going to have a little adventure before their summer activities started,” Zachary’s father, Todd Porter told Breaking News Of World.

Porter played baseball at Lake Forest High School, where his former coach remembers his senior season fondly.

 “As the season went on, he developed into our ace on the mound,” Ray Del Fava, the varsity baseball coach said.

“[A] quiet leader,” he said. “By the time the season ended, he was in the forefront. [He] earned the respect of his teammates and his coaches through his hard work and personality,” Del Fava told Breaking News Of World.

Del Fava says Porter had just visited the team last week to watch a game.

“One of my biggest regrets, he came to a game last week. I only got a chance to wave to him, didn’t get a chance to talk to him.”

Porter was also an avid sailor. He spent his summers teaching children to sail at the Lake Bluff Park District.

“Laid back, easy going. A kid that was really able to connect with the children in the program, made it fun for them, and yet took the duties seriously,” John Bealer, the park district’s Executive Director said.

Porter’s mother told Breaking News Of World that sailing was his dream job.

The family is hosting a private remembrance ceremony on the beach in Lake Bluff on Sunday. They are also launching the Zachary Porter Foundation in his honor to help underserved children experience nature.

“Everybody should try and be more caring and compassionate and thoughtful. It would be better world. That’s what he was trying to accomplish,” Porter’s mother said.

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