SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Search for 2 missing men near Ketchikan suspended


February 14, 2017
Tuesday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - Monday, the Coast Guard suspended the search for two men reported overdue from a boating trip near Ketchikan. The two missing men have been identified by the Alaska State Troopers as Troy Smart, age 45, and Timothy Staples, age 38, both of Metlakatla.

"We search for every person as if we are searching for one of our own," said Capt. Shannan Greene, commander, Sector Juneau. Greene said several assets executed an exhaustive search effort in the face of adverse weather conditions over two days. "Regrettably, we were unable to locate the missing men despite our steadfast efforts; our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of those missing," said Capt. Greene.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Juneau received the overdue report from the fiancé of one of the two boaters at approximately 4:00 AM Sunday. The missing men departed from Mountain Point aboard a 16-foot skiff at approximately 1:00 AM Sunday and were expected to arrive to Cowboy's Camp on Annette Island within 30 minutes.

Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk crews and Coast Guard Station Ketchikan 45-foot Response Boat - Medium crews conducted search patterns Sunday on the southern end of Gravina Island.

An Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk crew located the 16-foot skiff belonging to the missing men capsized north of their intended route in Blank Inlet on Gravina Island at approximately 9:45 AM Sunday. The crew of the good Samaritan fishing vessel Storm Rage righted the skiff and towed it back to Ketchikan.

Alaska State Troopers activated Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad to assist the Coast Guard crews with searches along the shorelines of Blank Inlet and Annette Bay. Members of the Metlakatla Indian Community also searched using their emergency boat as well as ground crews around Cowboys Camp.

Multiple crews from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka, the Coast Guard Cutter Maple and Coast Guard Station Ketchikan searched approximately 800 miles for 42 hours to locate the two men.

Winds reported by the National Weather Service for early Sunday morning were SE winds at 32 mph with gusts up to 51 mph. The weather on scene Sunday was 17 to 23-mph winds and 4-foot seas. Weather on scene Monday was 46 mph winds, 4 to 8-foot seas and 2 miles visibility.


Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

Alaska Department of Public Safety

United States Coast Guard



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