Search in progress for snowmachiner missing between Eek, Quinhagak
An air and ground search is underway in Western Alaska for an overdue snowmachiner last seen Saturday night, Alaska State Troopers said.
Timothy Beebe, 48, left the village of Eek at about 7 p.m. Saturday en route to his hometown of Quinhagak, according to an online dispatch posted Tuesday. Troopers started searching for him after they were told he didn't show up the next day.
A missing persons bulletin for Beebe said he had been riding a blue Polaris snowmachine when he was last seen.
“He was last known to be wearing camouflage rain gear,” troopers wrote. “Search by air and ground between Eek and Quinhagak has revealed no sign of Beebe.”
An Alaska Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in Bethel began flying search missions Sunday, according to a Guard statement. Search crews have been able to fly in overcast but clear weather, although spring breakup has hindered spotting efforts.
“Most trails aren’t even snow covered, so it doesn’t really leave a trail to follow,” Capt. Andrew Adams, who flew a search mission for Beebe on Monday, said in the statement. “It’s really hard to decipher whether tracks are fresh or not, and we don’t have the advantage of a clearly defined trail, which occurs when the ground is covered in snow.”
Mike Riley, the president of an area search-and-rescue group, said Tuesday marked the second full day of air searches for Beebe.
“We are talking with the people in our area to see if they can find any clues,” Riley said. “We haven’t found any yet.”
Searchers had spoken with someone who may have seen Beebe and investigated a sonar ping near the mouth of the Quinhagak River, but no trace of him had been found.
“No sign of a snowmobile, no sign of anything,” Riley said.
Anyone with information on Beebe’s whereabouts is asked to call AST at 907-543-2294.
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