Coast Guard suspends search for overdue hunter near Newtok, Alaska

A pair of MH-60T Jayhawk helicopters on the flightline at Air Station Kodiak, May 13, 2016. The MH-60T has a maximum range of 700 nautical miles and can reach up to 180 knots. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Tracey Mertens, Coast Guard Auxiliary.

USCG File Photo

JUNEAU, Alaska – The Coast Guard suspended the search for an overdue 59-year-old seal hunter near Newtok Tuesday night.

Multiple aircrews from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak and the Civil Air Patrol searched with Alaska State Trooper ground crews for more than 41 hours along the shoreline of Nunivak Island to northwest of Hazen Bay. Volunteers from the villages of Newtok and Tununak searched with a combination of snow machines and skiffs on the ground and shoreline edge.

Watchstanders at the 17th Coast Guard District command center received a request for agency assistance from the Alaska State Troopers to locate the overdue hunter Monday afternoon. The hunter departed Newtok, Sunday, on a snow machine towing a red kayak. Alaska State Trooper ground crews located the snow machine on the shoreline; however the hunter’s kayak was missing.

“Coast Guard search and rescue crews covered more than 9,438 square nautical miles in their attempt to find the missing man,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Trevor Frommherz, Coast Guard 17th District watchstander. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the missing man during this difficult time.”

Weather on scene was reportedly 17 mile per hour winds and 5 miles of visibility.

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