Coast Guard suspends search for mayday source near Seldovia

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Coast Guard actively suspended its search this afternoon, for the source of the “mayday” call near Seldovia received at 10 p.m. Tuesday. No correlating reports of an overdue, flare sightings or search and rescue satellite alerts have been received at this time.

Coast Guard search and rescue controllers in Anchorage received a report of an individual saying “mayday” and that they were abandoning their vessel into a life raft. No further communications could be established. An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast UMIB was issued. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and crew from Kodiak was diverted from another case, a Kodiak-based C-130 and crew and the Homer-based Coast Guard Auxiliary were launched.

The search consisted of over 30 search hours covering 1,676 nautical miles of water and shore line. Coast Guard aircraft including a C-130, MH-60 Jayhawk and HH-65 Dolphin and a Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel saturated the Kachemack Bay area over a two day period with 11 separate searches.

“Suspending an active search is always a difficult decision,” said Capt. Mark Hamilton, commander Sector Anchorage, Captain of the Port Western Alaska. “However, after more than 30 hours of searching by the air and sea for the last two days, we are confident we have exhausted every reasonable effort to locate and assist any possible survivors.”

Responders were beset by adverse weather conditions during much of the search. Tuesday weather was reported as 20 knot winds with seas at three feet. A small craft advisory was in effect for the area. Today searchers encountered 25 knot winds with seas increasing to four feet and a gale warning.

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