Coast Guard crews searching for overdue aircraft near Sitka, Alaska

Coast Guard Cutter Bailey Barco file photo

Coast Guard Cutter Bailey Barco file photo

JUNEAU, Alaska — Multiple Coast Guard assets are searching by air and sea Sunday, for an overdue aircraft with two people aboard that departed Sitka and never returned Saturday night.

Coast Guard District 17 and Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center watchstanders received notification from the Juneau Flight Service Station that a white and red colored PA-18 Super Cub float plane departed the Sitka Seaplane Docks Saturday but never returned. The seaplane was supposed to fly for an estimated 20-minute tour of Katlian Bay and Olga Strait, just north of Sitka.

Watchstanders directed the launch of a Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bailey Barco, a 154-foot Fast Response Cutter, also arrived on scene Sunday morning and is actively searching.

“Coast Guard helicopter crews have been searching continuously since last night and we continue to, aided by the Bailey Barco,” said Cmdr. Michael Kahle, search and rescue mission coordinator. “We are also coordinating with multiple partners including the Alaska State Troopers, Alaska Air National Guard and Civil Air Patrol to assist us in the search for the missing plane.”

Weather in the area is reportedly seven-mph winds and five miles of visibility.

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