Two Boaters Found Dead South of Unalakleet After Joint Search and Rescue Efforts

Boating on the Unalakleet River. (Photo: Maddie Winchester, KNOM)

What started as search and rescue efforts yesterday turned into a death investigation in Unalakleet.

Sunday evening, around 8pm, Alaska State Troopers in Nome were notified that two boaters, Peter Nanouk and Justin Nanouk from Unalakleet, were overdue. The two relatives were reportedly heading south towards Klikitarik to fish.

After searchers from St. Michael did not locate the fishermen on Monday, more volunteers in boats joined the search efforts in the area. Yesterday, Peter Nanouk’s boat, an aluminum open-top skiff, was found swamped without the two men onboard. Soon after, both of the Nanouks were found deceased on the beach near Golsovia River.

Foul play is not suspected in their deaths. Justin Nanouk was 35 years old, Peter was 55. Their remains will be sent to Anchorage for autopsies.

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Peter Nanouk’s boat was found “in a swamp,” rather than “swamped.” The mistake has been corrected.


  1. Eileen on June 14, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Were they using life jackets?

  2. Brad Russell on June 15, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Life jacket are only good for a certain period of time in those water temps. But they should always be worn. I knew Peter and his “brother” very good people and very competent in the bush. I am very saddened with this news