Coast Guard suspends search for Sitka Fisherman

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Coast Guard suspended its search at 1:44 p.m. Sunday for a missing Sitka fisherman presumed to have fallen overboard from his 32-foot fishing vessel the Miss Dee Dee that was found aground in Fish Bay more than 20 miles north of Sitka.

Coast Guard Air Station Sitka crews conducted four searches using MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters. The Coast Guard Cutter Naushon, a 110-foot patrol boat from Ketchikan, has been in the area searching since Saturday. The fishing vessel Brant who found the Miss Dee Dee provided assistance with conducting land and water searches.

Alaska State Troopers boarded the Miss Dee Dee in an effort to better understand the circumstances that led to Michael Diverty’s going overboard. Sitka Mountain Rescue also sent a team with a search dog to provide a shoreline search looking for any indication that Diverty had made it ashore.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau Command Center was notified of Diverty’s disappearance at approximately 7:06 p.m. Friday and immediately launched a rescue helicopter to search the area. Diverty was last seen leaving Sitka around noon Friday by the crew of the Brant and is believed to have fallen off his vessel sometime during the day north of Sitka.

The Coast Guard has been in communication with Diverty’s family. His son has taken possession of the Miss Dee Dee and is taking the boat back to Sitka. The incident caused no reported pollution or impacted the area.

Weather conditions in Fish Bay during the search were scattered showers with light winds and calm seas. The water temperature is approximately 50 degrees.

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