State Troopers Dispatch Aerial Search For Missing Tuntutuliak Boater

Sep 4, 2019

Update Sept. 5, 2019 6 p.m.: Stormy weather and low visibility put the search for a missing boater on hold all day Thursday. 

Patrick Nick, age 29, went missing Wednesday morning while boating alone from Bethel to Tuntutuliak in stormy conditions. Alaska State Troopers report that Nick was on the phone with his wife when he told her that his boat had begun taking on water. She called the troopers just after midnight on Wednesday morning to report her husband’s situation.

Around 2 a.m., the Air National Guard dispatched a HC-130 Combat King II airplane and a HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter from Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson in Anchorage. The Air National Guard flew an aerial search for 15 hours on Wednesday looking for Nick. On Wednesday afternoon, local searchers from Tunutuliak found Nick’s boat overturned in the Kuskokwim River. Stormy conditions grounded the search throughout the day Thursday.

Original story Sept. 6, 2019 6:30 p.m.: The Alaska Air National Guard has taken to the air to search for a man reported to have gone missing between Bethel and Tunutuliak. 

Trooper Edwin Anderson says that 29-year-old Patrick Nick of Tunutuliak was boating home from Bethel on Tuesday night along the Kuskokwim River through strong winds, rain, and rough water. Nick was traveling alone, and a person he was in contact with called the troopers for help just after midnight on Wednesday morning. The Alaska Air National Guard dispatched a helicopter and airplane to search the area. They located his boat, but as of 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, had yet to find Nick.

Bethel Search and Rescue Secretary Perry Barr says that local volunteers are standing by to assist.

Correction: The Alaska Air National Guard, not the Alaska State Troopers, dispatched aircraft to search for Patrick Nick.