Nome Man Still Missing After Falling Overboard from Fishing Vessel Last Week

Nome’s port on a cloudy autumn day.

56-year-old Anthony Shelp of Nome is still missing after falling overboard from his fishing vessel late last week.

At approximately 9am on Friday, October 26, the Alaska State Troopers received a report that Shelp went overboard from the Juda Lee seven miles west of Nome. Shelp’s family, also onboard during the incident, attempted to pull him back onto the boat but were unsuccessful. Shelp was reportedly not wearing a life jacket when he fell into the water.

The State Troopers contacted the U.S. Coast Guard, who sent an Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Kotzebue. Nome Search and Rescue aided the Coast Guard by both helicopter and boat.

The search was suspended at 9pm on Friday, Oct. 26, due to hazardous conditions, and as of Monday afternoon, conditions have not improved.

Conditions when the Coast Guard arrived on the scene included a water temperature of 43° F, 20 mph winds, and five-foot seas. Seth Caron of Coast Guard District 17 noted the dangers of the situation: “When a person goes into cold water with no life jacket, our chances of finding them alive are vastly diminished.”

The State Troopers are reporting alcohol was a factor in the incident.

Image at top: the Nome Port (2014). File photo: Francesca Fenzi, KNOM.


  1. Tony Parsons on October 30, 2018 at 2:15 am

    RIP Tony….

  2. Andrew on October 30, 2018 at 10:55 am

    “… approximately 9am on Friday …”

    “… State Troopers are reporting alcohol was a factor …”

    Does this strike anyone else as odd? I can maybe understand a quick morning nip just to warm up given the weather, but it’s pretty early for it to be a factor in the accident.

  3. Bill Mathisen on October 31, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Not really Andrew, what I’m having a problem with is, them not being able to pull Tony back aboard. The Juda Lee sits much lower than the Belmont Rose, and yet I was able to yard my nephew, out of the water, when he fell off the pot stack….

    • Blaine Galleher on November 1, 2018 at 12:31 pm

      and not a single PFD, bouy, rope, or anything to throw him?

    • Andrew on November 2, 2018 at 9:21 am

      I hear you, Bill, but it just seemed early to me. I guess I need to get out more in colder weather. Do we know if there will be a next step regarding an investigation? The story doesn’t say.