Good Samaritan locates Koyuk whale hunters in Norton Bay

KODIAK, Alaska – A good Samaritan located the four Koyuk whale hunters Tuesday afternoon who were reported overdue Tuesday morning in a 16-foot skiff in Norton Bay.

Steven Hoogendorn, Steven Hoogendorn Jr., Clarance Dooley and Arian Nassak, residents of Koyuk, were hoisted by an Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and taken to Koyuk reportedly in good condition.

Alaska State Troopers reported a good Samaritan pilot spotted the skiff on the shore near a relief cabin at Island Point about 11:15 a.m.    The hunters reportedly were in inclement weather, decided to beach the skiff and spend the night at the relief cabin. 

It was reported the hunters departed Koyuk about noon Sunday enroute to Bald Head in Norton Bay and then to Cape Denbigh. They were scheduled to return Monday morning.  They were reported overdue to the 17th Coast Guard District command center by Alaska State Troopers about 12:15 a.m. Tuesday.

The 17th Coast Guard District command center directed the launch of an HC-130 Hercules aircraft and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter Tuesday morning to search for the hunters.

The Coast Guard encourages all boaters to carry a VHF marine band radio to contact the coast guard in the event of an emergency and to file a float plan with family, friends and the harbormaster before a trip.

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