JUNO (USA) May 31 (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended the search for four missing people after their fishing boat was found partially submerged near the community of Sitka in southeastern Alaska. A fifth person was found dead on Sunday.
The Coast Guard said it suspended a search that spanned more than 20 hours and covered about 2,136.74 square kilometers Monday night.
Kingfisher Charters reported late Sunday that a 9-meter aluminum charter boat with five people on board was overdue, the Coast Guard said in a statement. The boat was last seen off Sitka earlier in the day.
The Coast Guard found the boat partially submerged near an island about 16 kilometers west of Sitka on Sunday night. Petty Officer Ian Gray said it found the body of a man in the water about 100 yards (91 meters) from the boat.
Gray said the area was experiencing swells of 1.8 meters to 3.35 meters on Sunday.
“There was no immediate major damage to the hull, suggesting it ran aground or something like that,” Gray said Tuesday. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Coast Guard. The cause of the incident remains under investigation.
“Despite the best efforts of us and several partner agencies, we were unable to locate the four remaining individuals,” Capt. Darwin Jensen, with the Coast Guard’s area of responsibility, which includes southeastern Alaska, said in a statement. “The decision to suspend the search is never an easy one. Our deepest sympathies go out to loved ones during this difficult time.” (Associated Press)
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