Searchers Continue to Find Items from Missing Men’s Boat

by Ben Matheson on October 30, 2013

Map from bethelsar.org

Map from bethelsar.org

Searchers continue to find items thought to be from the boat of Nick Cook and Jim Napoka. Over 60 searchers from the lower Kuskokwim were involved Wednesday. They have narrowed the focus to the Helmick Point-Kialik River area and have spread out on a grid. Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters says the plan for today included dragging the river if no one had been found.

Earlier this week they found footprints that may belong to one of the missing men near the mouth of the Kialik River about ten miles upriver of Tuntutuliak. That’s where they found Napoka’s boat submerged on Sunday. They continued to follow footprints and broken branches today, but they have found no sign of the men.

37-year-old Nick Cooke of Bethel and 46-year-old Jim Lee Napoka of Tuluksak have not been heard from in more than a week.

Bethel Search and Rescue is coordinating ground operations. Many villages have been involved including Eek, Napaskiak, Napakiak, Kwethluk, and Tuntutuliak.

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