Couple goes missing during skiff trip on Norton Sound

Anchorage Daily NewsSeptember 27, 2012 

KOYUK -- A couple boating Monday across Norton Sound remained missing late Thursday, according to Alaska State Troopers.

David Slwooko, 41, and Debra Kimoktoak, 48, left Koyuk on Monday in a 17-foot aluminum skiff with an outboard motor, troopers said. They were expected in Unalakleet, about 80 miles to the south, that evening.

Slwooko and Kimoktoak had camping gear, enough food for at least one day and two dogs with them, one white and one black, troopers said.

Family members reported them missing on Tuesday, according to the Coast Guard, which sent an HC-130 Hercules airplane and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to the area to help search. A trooper in a plane scanned the coastline from Nome to Stebbins, south of Unalakleet. None of the searches have so far found Slwooko or Kimoktoak.

Troopers say high wind and low water have hampered the search efforts, which continued Thursday.

The Coast Guard reported weather in the area as including 25 mph winds and seas of 5 to 7 feet, with good visibility.

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Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4589.