Coast Guard finds unmanned skiff; search underway

The Coast Guard began a search for one or more passengers of a 16-foot skiff that was found unmanned with the engine running about 15 nautical miles north of Juneau in Favorite Channel.

Another recreational boater found the unmanned skiff and reported it to the Coast Guard at about 1:40 p.m. Thursday afternoon, said Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosely, a Coast Guard spokesman in Anchorage.

The Coast Guard deployed an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Sitka and a response boat from the Juneau to assist in the search, Mosely said.

“Right now our response is to ensure that nobody’s in the water,” Mosely said.

As of 6:45 p.m. Thursday, the search was still ongoing, Mosely said. It was not clear when or if the search would be halted; Mosely said that depended on a number of factors, including the weather and the likelihood of finding the missing party or parties.

As of 6:45 p.m. Thursday, Mosely said no signs of anything had been found. The Juneau Police Department is helping the search on the land side by using the skiff’s registration number to determine who the owners are.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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