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Press Release | May 30, 2023

Coast Guard suspended its search at sunset Monday for four missing individuals in the water near Sitka, Alaska. 

D17 Public Affairs

JUNEAU, Alaska — The Coast Guard suspended its search at sunset Monday for four missing individuals in the water near Sitka, Alaska. 

The Coast Guard recovered one deceased individual Sunday evening and located the vessel partially submerged off Low Island approximately 10 miles west of Sitka. 

The search for the four unaccounted for individuals was suspended at approximately 9:30 p.m. Monday. 

Watchstanders at Sector Juneau received a phone call Sunday evening from Kingfisher Charters reporting a 30-foot aluminum charter vessel overdue with five people aboard, including one master and four passengers. 

The vessel was last seen underway Sunday afternoon. 

Involved in the search were:

·       Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center 

·       Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 helicopter aircrew

·       Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules aircrew  

·       Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Sitka 38-foot Special Purpose Craft  boat crew

·       Sentinel-class fast response Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Denman   

·       Sitka Fire Department  

·       Several good Samaritan vessels 

·       Hanson Maritime 

Anyone with information is requested to contact Coast Guard Sector Juneau at 907-463-2980.

Coast Guard crews searched a total of approximately 825 square miles over the course of more than 20 hours utilizing both air and vessel search crews.

"Despite our best efforts and those of several partner agencies, we were not able to find the four remaining individuals, " said Capt. Darwin Jensen, Captain of the Port Southeast Alaska. "Suspending a search is never an easy decision. We extend our deepest sympathy to the loved ones during this difficult time. Our sincere thanks to community partners and the good Samaritan vessels who rapidly responded to help in the search." 

Coast Guard pollution response teams coordinated with Hansen’s Maritime, the contracted response company, to ensure preliminary pollution response measures were taken. Coast Guard units continue to monitor the scene for evidence of pollution and determine further pollution response actions.