Coast Guard searching for man near Auke Bay, Alaska

Coast Guard Alaska News
JUNEAU, Alaska — The Coast Guard is searching for a 52-year-old man named Paul Keithahn in the vicinity of Coghlan Island near Auke Bay Tuesday.

A 25-foot response boat crew from Coast Guard Station Juneau, the Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel Parker and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka began their search Monday after a good Samaritan reported seeing the man’s vessel, the 32-foot pleasure craft Spellbound, operating unmanned.

The 32-foot pleasure craft Spellbound rests at a dock in Auke Bay, Alaska, Sept. 15, 2014. Coast Guard Sector Juneau released this image as part of a search for the vessel's owner after it was discovered operating unmanned in the vicinity of Coghlan Island near Auke Bay, Sept. 15. (U.S. Coast Guard photo provided by Sector Juneau)

The 32-foot pleasure craft Spellbound rests at a dock in Auke Bay, Alaska, Sept. 15, 2014.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo provided by Sector Juneau)

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Juneau received the initial report and contacted the man’s wife who said she hadn’t heard from her husband since Saturday. The Station Juneau crew investigated the vessel and found it to be unoccupied with the man’s cellular phone still aboard. The vessel was towed to Auke Bay and secured in Juneau Police Department’s custody while the helicopter crew from Sitka commenced a search for the man. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Liberty joined the search Monday evening.

“The Coast Guard has reached out to good Samaritans in the area of Coghlan Island for additional information and is conducting an extensive search of the surrounding waters,” said Cmdr. Marc Burd, chief of response, Coast Guard Sector Juneau. “Anyone who saw the Spellbound or Paul Keithahn, the vessel’s master, over the weekend is encouraged to contact the Coast Guard Command Center in Juneau at 907-463-2980.”

Weather on scene is reported to be calm.

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