The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended searches for two men believed to have fallen overboard from vessels in the Bering Sea and Southeast Alaska Wednesday afternoon.
In a statement late Wednesday, Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer 3rd Class Grant DeVuyst says the 10-hour northern search covered 64 square miles, after watchstanders were informed by a good Samaritan Wednesday morning of a man in the water from the fishing vessel Seeker, about 10 miles northwest of Unimak Island.
Watchstanders sent a forward-deployed Coast Guard helicopter from Cold Bay to begin the search in 35 mph winds and 10-foot seas, with good Samaritan vessels in the area also assisting. DeVuyst says the helicopter had returned to base, with the Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley arriving at about 4:30 p.m.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the missing man,”Chief Petty Officer Chris Cole, a 17th District command center watchstander, said in Wednesday night's statement. “The decision to end a search is one of the most difficult choices to make as a search and rescue controller.”
There was also no progress in the search for 52-year-old Ketchikan man John Anderson, apparently overboard from his houseboat in the Tongass Narrows. Ketchikan police found the 40-foot Diver III adrift Wednesday morning, having dragged its anchor in 35 mph winds gusting to 70 mph.
DeVuyst didn't immediately have full details on the Ketchikan search late Wednesday, beyond the fact that it had ended.
"It was suspended pretty late this evening," DeVuyst said.