Thomas Sagoonick 2010-07-17
Two rescued after boat sinks in Norton Sound
By KYLE HOPKINS, firstname.lastname@example.org, Published: July 17th, 2010
Shaktoolik villagers rescued two young men clinging to buoys after their fishing
boat sank in Norton Sound Friday but another man is missing and presumed dead, troopers
A life jacket that Thomas Sagoonick, 36, was trying to put on as the 22-foot aluminum
boat sank in rough seas was found among debris that later washed ashore, troopers
spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said today. Sagoonick remained missing Saturday evening.
The sinking was reported at about 3 p.m.
Brothers Brian Savetilik, 19, and Clarence Savetilik Jr., 24, held on to a buoy
and to each other as friends arrived in another boat to rescue them, their mother
Edna Savetilik said she and other villagers had watched from the shore as waves
washed over the boat. "You could barely see them when they were going in between
waves," Savetilik said.
The young men and Sagoonick, their friend, had taken the boat out to haul commercial
fishing nets. Troopers say the boat was heavy with salmon when it sank.
Edna Savetilik said she told her son not to go out in the poor conditions. "I told
them it's too rough. But my son is so daring," she said.
Two young men -- identified by Savetilik as Michael Rock and A.J. Nakarak -- took
another boat out and pulled her sons from the water, Savetilik said. "If it wasn't
for those two boys. My boys would still be out there too."
Shaktoolik is a coastal village of about 230 people roughly 125 miles east of Nome.
Troopers say the boaters weren't using flotation devices, but Savetilik said they
had life jackets in the boat.
"They didn't have time to grab their life vests but the guy that is still missing
put his on and grabbed on to a buoy as well," she said.
Savetilik was with her sons as they were treated following the rescue. "I cried
to them," she said.
"They cried back. Told a little bit of what happened out there. But they were mostly
cold -- we needed to get them warmed up as fast as we could," Savetilik said.
Searchers looked for Sagoonick by air or by riding four-wheelers along the coast.