UNITED STATES NEWS

Coast Guard suspends search for 4 missing after Alaska charter boat found partially submerged

May 30, 2023, 11:06 AM | Updated: 1:02 pm

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for four people missing after the fishing charter boat they were on was found partially submerged near the southeast Alaska community of Sitka. A fifth person was found dead Sunday.

The search, which spanned more than 20 hours and covered about 825 square miles (2136.74 square kilometer) was suspended Monday night, the Coast Guard said.

Kingfisher Charters on Sunday evening reported that a 30-foot (9-meter) aluminum charter vessel with five people aboard was overdue, the Coast Guard said in a statement. The boat was last seen earlier that day near Sitka.

The Coast Guard found the boat partially submerged off an island about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of Sitka on Sunday evening. It recovered the body of a man who was found in the water about 100 yards (91 meters) from the boat, Petty Officer Ian Gray said.

Gray said the region was experiencing 6-foot (1.8-meter) to 11-foot (3.35-meter) seas on Sunday.

“There was no immediate significant damage to the hull of the vessel to indicate that it ran aground or anything like that,” Gray said Tuesday. Anyone with information about the incident has been asked to contact the Coast Guard. The cause of the incident remains under investigation.

“Despite our best efforts and those of several partner agencies, we were not able to find the four remaining individuals, ” Capt. Darwin Jensen, whose area of responsibility with the Coast Guard includes southeast Alaska, said in a statement. “Suspending a search is never an easy decision. We extend our deepest sympathy to the loved ones during this difficult time.”

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Coast Guard suspends search for 4 missing after Alaska charter boat found partially submerged