Coast Guard suspends search for man reported missing north of Sitka, Alaska

Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick File Photo

Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick File Photo

ANCHORAGE, Alaska –The Coast Guard suspended their search Monday night for a man reported missing approximately 30 miles north of Sitka in Peril Strait.

Missing is Sean Paffenbarger.

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick, a boatcrew from Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Sitka, Alaska State Trooper boatcrews and the Sitka Mountain Rescue searched a 77 square-mile area near the shoreline along Peril Strait for 35 hours in an effort to locate Paffenbarger.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center received notification from the Alaska State Troopers Sunday afternoon that an emergency distress signal had been activated by a vessel in transit from Sitka to Saook Point.

“We canvassed the water and adjacent shoreline in Peril Strait with air, boat and ground crews for two days to find the missing man,” said Lt. Matthew Spado, command duty officer for Sector Juneau. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Sean Paffenbarger during this difficult time.”

Weather on scene was 20-mph winds, 2-foot seas and 10 miles visibility with clear skies.

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