Jerome Ernie Beltran 2010-09-12

Search continues for man missing from boat

The Associated Press, Published: September 13th, 2010

DILLINGHAM -- Alaska State Troopers are searching for a Dillingham man believed to have gone overboard in the Nushagak River in Southwest Alaska.

Trooper Mike Henry said 26-year-old Jerome "Ernie" Beltran went missing about 30 miles east of Dillingham.

The Coast Guard said the vessel Meshik Wolf reported the incident early Sunday.

Ray Dwyer, search and rescue controller with the Coast Guard, said fog prevented a search until midday Sunday. Searchers found no sign of Beltran. Henry, who is based in Dillingham, said the search was continuing Monday.

Dwyer said the Meshik Wolf was anchored with other boats at the river for a moose hunt.

Searchers find body of Dillingham man missing for days


Published: September 15th, 2010

Searchers on Tuesday discovered the body of a Dillingham man who disappeared days earlier in a Southwest Alaska river, troopers say.

Jerome "Ernie" Beltran, 26, had been missing since Sunday, when he fell off a fishing boat anchored in the Nushagak River, about half a mile upstream from Portage Creek.

A volunteer search party found Beltran's body at about 5 p.m. Tuesday near the creek.

Troopers are investigating the death but say there are no initial signs of foul play.

Along with Dillingham-area volunteers, the search effort included the U.S. Coast Guard, troopers, the Dillingham search and rescue team, and Choggiung Ltd., the village corporation in Dillingham.

Dillingham is a community of about 2,300 people in northern Bristol Bay, at the confluence of the Wood and Nushagak rivers.