The victims were identified as a married couple, both 67, and a 62-year-old man
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Alaska Glacier
Credit: David McNew/Getty Images

Authorities in Alaska are investigating the death of three German tourists whose bodies were discovered near Valdez Glacier on Tuesday.

Sheri Pierce, a spokesperson for the city of Valdez, told Anchorage Daily News that a kayak guide spotted the three bodies just before 10 a.m. during a group tour at the Valdez Glacier Lake.

The victims were identified as a married couple, both 67, and a 62-year-old man. They were retrieved by responders over four hours after they were initially discovered by the kayak guide, at around 2 p.m.

According to the outlet, two of the bodies were floating in the water near the toe of Valdez Glacier, while the third body was found on an ice floe.

Pierce noted that the three tourists, who were wearing life jackets, are believed to have been inside an inflatable canoe before they died.

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“It’s dangerous getting near the face of glaciers like that,” Pierce told Anchorage Daily News, adding that the glacier’s shedding ice delayed the response of the rescue team that retrieved the three bodies.

The cause of death has yet to be determined by investigators, but Pierce said that foul play is not suspected.

“If they were knocked out of the boat due to a wake or a calving piece of ice, the water is very cold,” she noted.

Valdez Glacier Lake, which is located about 7 miles northeast of Valdez and 120 miles east of Anchorage, has been a popular tourist location for years, with views of the Chugach Mountains and Valdez Glacier.

The ice on the Valdez Glacier has been “more or less retreating for the last 10,000 years,” according to its website, which notes that the tourist destination is worth seeing in the warm climate before the glacier continues to decrease in size.