Search for missing Nunam Iqua man continues

by Melvin Pavilla on October 3, 2013

The search continues for 24-year-old Stanton Shelton of Nunam Iqua. He is believed to have drowned in a boating accident Sept. 23 on the Lower Yukon River.

The villages of Nunam Iqua, Alakanuk, and Emmonak have been involved in search efforts since that time. They are concentrating in an area downriver of Alakanuk. It is believed the boat swamped about 10 miles below the village.

Two men died in the accident: 29-year-old Daniel Noble and 50-year-old Cyril Murphy both of Nunam Iqua. There was one survivor John Chikigak, age 21, who was able to swim to shore. He told law enforcement that the boat had swamped when they pulled the plug out to empty the water from the boat.

The Alaska State Troopers have been conducting aerial searches and providing provisions to searchers including funds for gasoline and food. They still don’t know all the details of what happened and are investigating boating debris that has been salvaged.

Alakanuk search and rescue volunteers have kept about five boats searching every day.

The village of Emmonak ceased their search efforts Oct. 2.

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