Searchers use sonar boat in effort to find Cooke and Napoka

by Ben Matheson on October 31, 2013

Over 60 searchers from the lower Kuskokwim were involved Wednesday in the search for Nick Cooke and Jim Lee Napoka. Both ground crews and state trooper flights were utilized. The also brought in a new asset: a boat with sonar capability. Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters says crews are looking for every last clue.

“At low tide searchers went out with shovels to sift around the area where the boat had been located. When they did that they found a battery and additional cables that belong to the boat. Unfortunately there is still no sign of the missing men,” said Peters.

Crews have narrowed the focus to the Helmick Point-Kialik River area and have spread out on a grid. 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. 37-year-old Nick Cooke of Bethel and 46-year-old Jim Lee Napoka of Tuluksak have not been heard from since last Tuesday.

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