Coast Guard suspends search for 2 near Juneau, Alaska

The Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick (WPC-1121) and crew make way to their home port at Coast Guard Base Ketchikan in Ketchikan, Alaska, March 217, 2017. The Fast Response Cutter McCormick and its crew completed a 6,200-mile trip fmor Key West, Florida. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick file photo.

JUNEAU, Alaska – The Coast Guard suspended the search Wednesday evening for the two men after their 10-foot skiff capsized in the Gastineau Channel.

Coast Guard Air Station Sitka helicopter crews, Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick smallboat crews, Coast Guard Station Juneau smallboat crews and multiple local agencies searched 58 square miles in the Gastineau Channel for more than 20 hours to locate the two men.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the two men during this challenging time,” said Capt. Phil Thorne, Sector Juneau commander. “It’s a very difficult decision to suspend a search and we always make these decisions with care and consideration.”

Local agencies who also assisted in the search are the Juneau Harbor Department, Alaska State Troopers, SEADOGS K-9 Search and Rescue Team, Alaska Wildlife Troopers and the Juneau Police Department.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders received initial notification at 9 p.m. Tuesday from the Juneau Police Department stating they received a call from a man near Aurora Harbor, Juneau, reporting he heard people screaming for help. A station Juneau smallboat crew rescued one person found on the hull of the capsized skiff Tuesday at 9:40 p.m. Juneau Police Department personnel reported to the Coast Guard that two other people safely swam ashore. The three survivors reported that two men were missing.

Weather on scene is five-mph winds, one-foot seas with a water temperature of 44 degrees.

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