On August 9th, 1899, the River Cutter Nunivak arrived at the mouth of the Yukon River to commence operations there. The Cutter Nunivak was towed from the Lower 48 to the location of its operations by the Revenue Cutter Rush.
The Nunivak was built and sent to the Yukon expressly to perform law enforcement, customs, and navigation duties after the large influx of miners began flooding the area after the breakout of the Gold Rush. The cutter also provided medical services up and down the Yukon River.
The Nunivak explored many of the Yukon River’s tributaries during its short open seasons on the river.
After two seasons on the river, the treasury department determined that its service on the Yukon was unsatisfactory and put it up for sale in September 1901 for the sum of $5,000. In September of 1902, the offer was agreed upon by E. B. Leddy and the possession of the Nunivak, which was laid up at St Michaels, was turned over at once.