Search called off for missing snowmachiner

Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2002

HOOPER BAY (AP) -- The search for a Hooper Bay man missing two weeks was called off Friday, Alaska State Troopers said.

There has been no further sign of Milton Bunyan, 17, since his snowmachine was found Saturday in the Bering Sea, even though daily searches had been conducted, troopers said.

Bunyan was reported missing on March 8. Troopers were advised that he had departed Scammon Bay on a snowmchine the night before with a group of snowmachiners, but got ahead of them as they headed toward Hooper Bay.

The others arrived in Hooper Bay and tried to locate Bunyan but discovered he had not arrived at the village.

Snowmachine tracks, which indicated that Bunyan was driving fast, led to an area area of open water on the Bearing Sea Coast 17 miles from Scammon Bay.

Searchers dragged the water with drag bars and homemade hooks. About 50 volunteers helped look for Bunyan. However, shifting currents, tides and erratic winds made dragging difficult, said Peter Atchak, president of Bethel Search and Rescue.

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