Search For Missing Tuntutuliak Boater Resumes As Weather Clears

Sep 9, 2019

The search for a Tuntutuliak man who went missing last week continues. Patrick Nick, age 29, went missing on Wednesday, Sept. 4 while boating alone from Bethel to Tunutuliak in storm conditions. His boat was found empty. Since then, heavy rain and high winds have delayed local searchers for two days.  The weather cleared on Sept. 9, and six boats from Tunutuliak Search and Rescue and two from Nunapitchuk Search and Rescue went looking for him.

Tuntutuliak Tribal Police Officer Sally Andrew is coordinating the search efforts and says that she knows Nick. During a phone call with KYUK, the first word that she used to describe him was “friendly.” She also said that he was a family man with two young children, and a subsistence hunter and gatherer.

Local searchers found Nick’s boat the day he disappeared in the Gaelic River and are dragging the nearby river, looking for him. Other searchers are walking the tundra to search.

The day Nick went missing, the Air National Guard searched the area from the air for 15 hours with a HC-130 Combat King II airplane and a HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter. That day, Nick’s family had called the Alaska State Troopers for help after Nick called his wife and told her his boat was taking on water.

The Alaska State Troopers are supplying gas money for the search. Search and Rescue Coordinator Andrew says that anyone who wants to support the search can send gas or food for searchers to Tuntutuliak Search and Rescue.