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A Community Rallies

Aerial image of dark blue water, a field of ice chunks, and a small vessel involved in search-and-rescue efforts.
A drone image of search efforts in icy Golovin Bay. Photo courtesy of searcher Dennis Davis of Shishmaref.

On November 4, an elder from White Mountain went missing after his four-wheeler (ATV) broke through the ice of nearby Golovin Bay.

As of early December, Lincoln “Mike” Simon still has not been found, and it’s been weeks since Alaska State Troopers suspended their search.

Volunteers from villages far and wide — Golovin, White Mountain, Elim, Shaktoolik, Mountain Village, Bethel, Shishmaref, and even far-off Kotzebue and Noatak — have joined together to work doggedly to find any trace of him.

In Golovin, some volunteers give by spending hours on the sea ice with chainsaws, ice drills, underwater remotes, and even aerial drones. Others work from the local gathering hall, preparing meals from donated food, like caribou.

Woman in purple blouse prepares food inside small kitchen.
Sharon Lock prepares food in the kitchen of Golovin’s Chinik Eskimo Community. Photo: Emily Hofstaedter, KNOM.

Volunteers are determined to support Lincoln Simon’s family. In the Chinik Eskimo Community hall, Maggie Moses of Golovin told KNOM, “As long as they’re looking for Mike, I am going to be up here. I’m not going to go, no matter what. Somebody told me to take a rest, and I said, ‘no.’ I have to be up here.” Asked about how she sustains herself, Maggie said: “Mostly prayer, I’ve been praying. We all hurt, even from another village. All the villages are close.” Multiple people describe Mike as kind, devoted to subsistence, and always sharing what he had. The searchers all stressed that they have no intention of stopping.

You’ll find an on-location report from Golovin right here at knom.org.

Image at top: A drone image of search efforts in icy Golovin Bay. Photo courtesy of searcher Dennis Davis of Shishmaref. 

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We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.