UPDATE: The body of one of the missing miners from “The Charlotte” was recovered by the Nome Search and Rescue team yesterday [SUN]. Searchers found 56-year-old Serhii Denysenko washed up on the beach about seven miles east of Nome.
That leaves one crew member from Thursday’s shipwreck still missing after high waves caused the 32-foot-long gold mining dredge to capsize. That’s according to a dispatch from the Alaska State Troopers updated earlier today [MON].
After the wreck on Thursday, 51 year-old Pavel Denisenko made it to shore in a life raft and called for assistance. Nome Volunteer Search and Rescue responded to the call for help just after eight pm on Thursday evening. Chief Jim West Jr. of Search and Rescue reports Denisenko was taken to Norton Sound Regional Hospital where he was treated and then shortly released.
Fifty-two-year-old Alexie Klutchnikov, the third miner onboard, has not yet been recovered. The shipwrecked crew were reportedly on their way back to Nome when the vessel capsized. West described the crew as part of Nome’s regular seasonal mining fleet. Despite the difference in the spelling of the last name, AST spokesperson Timothy DeSpain confirmed that Serhii and Pavel are brothers. Serhii Denysenko’s remains have been sent to the State Medical Examiner’s office.
Alaska State Troopers are working on the case along with the U.S. Coast Guard who sent a C-130 out of Kodiak and a helicopter out of Kotzebue. Search efforts are ongoing.
ORIGINAL STORY: Two people are still missing after a gold mining dredge capsized near the Cape of Nome last night.
Nome Volunteer Search and Rescue responded to the call for help just after 8pm on Thursday evening. One member of the three-person crew made it to shore after the capsize and called for assistance. Chief Jim West Jr. of Nome Search and Rescue reports the survivor was taken to Norton Sound Regional Hospital where he was treated and then shortly released.
The wrecked vessel is called “The Charlotte”, which West describes as a 32-foot long aluminum boat converted into a gold mining dredge. The shipwrecked crew are three Russians who mine in Nome seasonally but are not regular Nome residents. The AST dispatch does not have the names of the miners available at this report.
West reports that 25 volunteers searched the shore and found most of the debris washed up around 16 miles east of Nome.
“We found the life raft, we found the gumby suit, a life ring in the life raft and a bunch of mining gear.”– Jim West Jr.
In the early hours of Friday morning the vessel did wash ashore.
“We were able to check the boat inside the hull to make sure that no one was inside or trapped inside the hull. It was empty.”– Jim West Jr.
Search efforts remain active. Alaska State Troopers are working on the case along with the U.S. Coast Guard who sent a C-130 out of Kodiak and a helicopter out of Kotzebue. Stormy weather conditions delayed their arrival into Nome, says West.
Searches continue by land and air for the two missing gold miners. West says current conditions at Cape Nome do not allow crews to safely launch any boats into the ocean at this time.
This is a developing story. KNOM will continue to update as more information becomes available.
Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that Denysenko was recovered seven miles west of Nome. He was found seven miles east of Nome. KNOM regrets the error.
Image at Top: US Coast Guard rescue helicopter. Photo from public domain.