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Search Continues for Missing Fisherman Near Willow Creek

by Phillip Manning ~ August 5th, 2014

The search for missing Missouri fisherman Jerry Warner continued on Tuesday.  Warner, 71, was reported overdue from a solo fishing trip on Sunday evening.  According to the initial report by the Alaska State Troopers on Monday, Jerry Warner walked upstream from the campground near Mile 71 of the Parks Highway  at around 11:00 am on Sunday.  He expected to be back within a few hours. The troopers say Warner was not carrying a phone or survival gear, and no clues to his whereabouts were discovered as of Tuesday afternoon.  Search efforts began Sunday night, and have been running continuously as daylight allows.  

On Tuesday, an Alaska Incident Management Team arrived to coordinate search efforts.  According to Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen, the team is made up of highly trained volunteers from various rescue organizations.  Ipsen also says that Helo-3, an Alaska State Trooper helicopter, is still involved in search efforts.

On Monday, the Mat-Su Borough reported that teams with ATVs, dogs, and boats were in the area.  Some of the search parties are composed of volunteers from MATSAR, a search-and-rescue organization in the Valley.  Others are borough emergency services personnel. Borough Emergency Manager Casey Cook was on scene late Tuesday morning, and describes some of the efforts underway.

“Our dive team is out there, we’ve got rescue folks from Willow and Caswell, EMS from Talkeetna.  Our field communications folks are out there, today with our mobile command post, so we’re supporting the search.  They were out there doing grid searches and line searches and that kind of stuff all day today, and [they were] out on the water again, hitting some spots that might be likely that they weren’t able to hit yesterday.”

Casey Cook estimates the total number of people searching as of Tuesday morning was between twenty-five and thirty-five.

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