The search continues for 63-year-old Lincoln Simon of White Mountain, with crews from Golovin, White Mountain, Savoonga, and Bethel all joining the effort.
Simon went missing on November 4 after his four-wheeler broke through thin ice. The Alaska State Trooper (AST) dispatch reports that Simon was able to call his family and report his situation and location. Simon was at the mouth of the Fish River and Golovin Bay when the incident occurred. An aircraft was able to locate the four-wheeler sitting under ice near the river’s mouth, and Golovin Search and Rescue (SAR) located objects they believe to be Simon’s.
Irene Navarro is the President of the Chinik Eskimo Community in Golovin and reported that the effort now includes divers, an airboat and helicopter. She says at least 3 members of Bethel SAR have joined the effort, and Joe Akeya of Savoonga has been diving when conditions allow. The search also utilizes underwater cameras.
According to Navarro, the biggest challenge has been wind. She says that wind has prevented helicopters from flying but also has pushed water through open areas of the river and out onto the ice. Such conditions make diving or searching on the ice too dangerous. SAR volunteers from White Mountain have been scanning the area by snowmachine.
Navarro describes the effort as a true community event. Searchers have received hot breakfasts, lunches, and dinners from volunteers at the Chinik Eskimo Community building.
She used words like “blessed” and “thankful” to describe the donations given to the searchers from communities all over the region and said, “we have no intention of giving up until we bring him home to his family.” Simon is the sitting Vice-President of the Tribal Council of White Mountain.
Image at top: file photo: the community of White Mountain. Photo: Laura Kraegel, KNOM.