Coast Guard searching for Koyuk residents near Norton Bay

KODIAK, Alaska – Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak aircrews are searching for four Koyuk whale hunters reported overdue in 16-foot skiff in Norton Bay Tuesday morning.

Steven Hoogendorn, Steven Hoogendorn Jr., Clarance Dooley and Arian Nassak, residence of Koyuk, were reported overdue to the 17th Coast Guard District command center by Alaska State Troopers about 12:15 a.m. Tuesday.

It was reported the hunters departed Koyuk approximately noon Sunday enroute to Bald Head in Norton Bay and then to Cape Denbigh. They were scheduled to return Monday morning. The State Troopers also reported the hunters could possibly stop at Inglutalik or Ungalik rivers.

Family members reported last saw the whale hunters at Bald Head and were headed to Cape Denbigh.

The 17th Coast Guard District command center directed the launch of an HC-130 Hercules aircraft and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter Tuesday to begin searching. The Hercules aircrew saturated Norton Bay in hopes of locating the hunters while the Jayhawk crew is conducting a shoreline in the area.

The Hercules aircrew has returned to Air Station Kodiak to refuel and swap aircrews and will resume searching later today.

Weather in the area is reported as mostly cloudy, an air temperature of 34 degrees, northwest winds at 13 mph gusting to 22 mph and a water temperature of 38 degrees.

If you know the whereabouts or have any information on the overdue hunters please contact the 17th Coast Guard District command center watchstanders at 907-463-2000.

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