Coast Guard suspends search for overdue boater near Whittier, Alaska

Coast Guard Cutter Mustang file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg)

Coast Guard Cutter Mustang file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg

ANCHORAGE, Alaska –The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a man reported missing from a 16-foot red skiff in Passage Canal near Whittier, Alaska.

Multiple Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews, a Coast Guard Station Valdez boatcrew and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mustang searched a 10 square-mile area in Passage Canal and Whittier Harbor for more than 35 hours to locate the missing person.

The crews of the good Samaritan vessels Qayaq Chief and Krystalsea assisted the search efforts and began searching Saturday as the Coast Guard issued an urgent marine information broadcast.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstanders received initial notification Saturday afternoon from the Whittier harbor master of the possible overdue boater. The vessel reportedly made a trip to tend crab pots just north of Whittier and was expected to return before approximately 1 p.m.

“Coast Guard crews and good Samaritan crews saturated the waters of Passage Canal and Whittier Harbor over two days to locate the missing boater,” said Michael McNeil, command duty officer for Sector Anchorage. “We search for every missing person as if we are searching for one of our own. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the missing boater during this difficult time.”

Weather on scene was 25 to 40-mph winds, 2 to 4-foot seas and clear skies.

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