A dive team is helping BSAR look for three missing hunters
A dive team is assisting Bethel Search and Rescue (BSAR) in looking for a group of hunters that have been missing for two weeks. The team arrived in Bethel from Anchorage on the evening Sept. 12. The next morning, the team began looking for the three missing men: Justin Crow, Shane McIntyre, and Carl Flynn.
The dive team brings additional skills and equipment to the search. According to BSAR Vice President Perry Barr, the dive team consists of three people. There’s a diver, a person who monitors the diver’s safety, and another person who is operating the team’s remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
The ROV swims underwater and has two cameras attached to it, allowing the team to scan underwater in real time. Barr said that the one brought from Anchorage is bigger than the ROV that BSAR has been using and has an additional camera along with a grappling hook.
“It can navigate the water easier, and it can also hover, compared to our ROV,” Barr said.
If the cameras see something that could be a clue for the search, then the diver would also get in the water.
The dive team is part of the Alaska Dive Search Rescue and Recovery Team, an all-volunteer Anchorage nonprofit that assists the Alaska Department of Public Safety in search and rescues. Barr said that the dive team currently in Bethel is scheduled to return to Anchorage on Sept. 15.
“It’s just like how we are an all-volunteer group. They have to go back to work. They have to go back to life," Barr said.
The Alaska State Troopers provided the flights and lodging for the dive team. The troopers are also reimbursing BSAR for gas used in the search.
Barr said that BSAR has searched portions of the Kuskokwim River from Napaskiak and Oscarville upriver to the head of Straight Slough. If the missing men are not found by the time the dive team leaves, Barr said that BSAR will continue its search for the men.