Every year, tens of thousands of people will take an Alaskan cruise and enjoy some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the world. A top attraction on nearly every Alaskan cruise is the magnificent Mendenhall Glacier. Although many people view glacier by land, others can explore the glacier by kayak. Last weekend, four Royal Caribbean passengers decided to rent kayaks to paddle along Mendenhall Lake while the cruise ship was in dock. Unfortunately, one never made it back to his cruise ship after his kayak overturned in the lake.
On July 15, 2012, 62 year-old Michael Fullerton of Texas was one of four family members that decided to rent kayaks along the Mendenhall Lake. As passengers of Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas, the four planned on returning to the cruise ship later that day. While kayaking, Fullerton reportedly became fatigued and was unable to continue paddling. According to Tongass National Forrest Supervisor Forrest Cole, the "group tied their kayaks together." At some point, the kayaks overturned. Three of the four family members survived, suffering only mild hypothermic injuries. Fullerton, however, drowned to death in the lake. According to Cole, it is unclear how the kayaks overturned.