Day 45, 01-24-2015 was the last day of searching by BSAR for Stone on the Kuskokwak Slough. Everyone was exhausted, mentally and physically after a long stretch of laborious effort by so many from Bethel, Kwethluk, Akiak, Akiachak, Tuluksak, Napaskiak, Nunapitchuk and Atmautluak. Many thousands of pounds of ice, large and small blocks cut out and dragged away from the site. Over a hundred auger holes, several hundred feet of trenches dug in various weather conditions including, rain, snow, sunshine and temperatures fluctuating from -45 wind chills to 45 above zero.
We are extremely grateful to all that assisted at the BSAR building, to Bob and Shirley Samuelson, Ivy Riley, Olga Riley and many others who provided a hot meal for returning BSAR volunteers. And for the others who couldn’t help at the site, but helped keep the chain saws and augers sharpened and and other equipment running. “Thank you” to the A.C. Company who donated food and beverages, AVCP Inc. for gasoline, Calista Corporation and Bud & Marge Revet for a monetary donations. And finally Akiak for gasoline. If we missed anyone who donated for this effort, it was not intentional. This was a busy time.
Currently we have begun the process of partnering with local Bethel entities to assist us in acquiring our own ROV or Remote Operated Vehicle for service in the Y-K Delta. BSAR had learned valuable lessons from both Keith Cormican and Tom Crossmon the value of current technology which can greatly reduce the time and labor spent in body recovery efforts. And have decided that the apparatus most appropriate for the type of recovery missions we are involved in would be the VideoRay Pro 4, a submersible with multi-beam sonar and color video camera capabilities. We also realized that if we had the VideoRay, the recovery effort for both Evan and Stone could have been successful within the first week of their tragedy. Our goal with the VideoRay, when received is to support recovery efforts in the entire Y-K Delta. See link below for more information.
We are asking all Search and Rescue groups, Tribal entities, Native Corporations, City governments and Public Safety organizations in the Y-K Delta to assist us with our goal by writing letters of support. We will be approaching our Senators and Representatives to help fund this important tool for our people.
If you are willing to donate money for the VideoRay, you can click on our donation link on our BSAR page or you can mail it to us.
Please send them to: BSAR President Mike Riley Box 2633, Bethel, AK 99559 or you can fax them to 543-4357. You can also email support letters to: mikeoriley@hotmail or firstname.lastname@example.org
BSAR also honored Tom Crossmon during his last evening in Bethel and was provided with a BSAR picture signed by all members of his “crew”, a pair of hand beaded gloves by Olga Riley, a BSAR ball cap, BSAR jacket and a baleen State of Alaska figure with the BSAR engraved with the BSAR logo on ivory mounted on caribou horn hand made by Christian Samuelson.