Sitnews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska - News, Features, Opinions...


Families Seek Donations to Help in Search for Missing Relatives in Alaska


October 08, 2004

Southeast Alaska - Sixteen days ago, the FAA notified the Coast Guard that a Harris Air Beaver float plane, carrying five men on a fishing adventure, did not arrive at its destination in Baranof Warm Spring Bay, Alaska. The Coast Guard ended its search after ten days. Their families, however, have not given up, and they need your help to continue the search.

Pat Koenig Flesuras, sister of missing fisherman Lloyd Koenig, says, "Of course we still believe that they could be found. They had all the food for the lodge on the plane. These are ironworkers, used to working in harsh conditions, and most of these men were avid fishermen. At this point in time there has been no sighting of anything. Usually they will find something to indicate that the plane broke up in the water or in the trees, over the mountains."

The missing individuals, who departed from Sitka, Alaska, are Jim Murphy of Sequim, Washington; twin brother Joe Murphy of Bremerton, Washington; Jerry Balmer of Auburn, California, Lloyd Koenig of Pleasanton, California, and the pilot, Erik Johnson of Sitka, Alaska.

The search covers an area of several hundred miles, between Sitka and Baranof Warm Spring Bay, Alaska. Other searches examined the shoreline, nearby forest areas, Kruzof Island, Salisbury Sound, Chatham Strait, Peril Strait, Takatz Bay, Point Elizabeth, Rodman Bay, and Ushk Bay to Hoonah Sound.

To continue their efforts, the families need to pay for gasoline to help the volunteers in their search. They ask that donations be sent to:

Wells Fargo Bank
300 Lincoln St.
Sitka, Alaska 99835
Tel: 907-747-3226
Account: Fund to Find Missing (Jim Murphy, Joe Murphy, Jerry Balmer, Lloyd Koenig, and Erik Johnson)

Pat Koenig Flesuras of Vacaville, California notes that any unused monies will be set aside for the needs of other families in future similar situations.




E-mail your news & photos to

Post a Comment
        View Comments
Submit an Opinion - Letter

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska