Nushagak River search finds no sign of missing hunting guide
August 30, 2011
By Casey Grove, Anchorage Daily News
The official search for a hunting guide missing in Southwest
Alaska has been called off after two days of investigation failed to
turn up any sign of the man, Alaska State Troopers said.
Brian R. Murray vanished Saturday on the Nushagak River. Murray,
44, is now presumed to be dead, troopers said.
Murray, an assistant guide from Fairbanks, had dropped off some
people at a hunting camp about two hours upriver from the village of
Koliganek, troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said.
Murray then headed farther up the river to break a new trail for
an upcoming hunt, Peters said. He was last seen launching a skiff
and was not wearing a flotation device, the troopers spokeswoman
Another assistant guide found the skiff about 10 minutes later.
"The boat was just floating on the river," Peters said.
Hunting guide Donald Duncan notified troopers in Dillingham that
Murray was missing. A search by air and river -- including troopers
in a plane and helicopter, another private helicopter from Tucker
Aviation and three private boats -- followed, and after searching
Saturday night and all day Sunday until 8:30 p.m., Murray was still
missing, troopers said.
Troopers canceled their search and rescue operation and notified
Murray's next of kin, Peters said.
"We believe that he is deceased under the water somewhere,"
"There's no indication he got off the boat and is on shore
Troopers flying in the area will continue to look for Murray, but
there is no ongoing, official search for him, Peters said. Other
hunting guides and private boaters would likely keep searching, she
Peters said all boaters should wear life jackets when on the
water. "Even if they don't guarantee your survival, they give you a
fighting chance to be saved or self-rescued," she said.
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