Friday night boat capsize kills two Juneau brothers

Two brothers from Juneau drowned in Southeast waters when their boat capsized Friday evening, according to Alaska State Troopers.


Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters identified the brothers as Casey Newman, 26, and Kelly Newman, 23.

A third person on the boat, identified as Jim Brown Jr., 20, survived and made it to shore, Peters said in a phone interview.

Peters said the 18-foot Lund skiff was about half a mile from shore when a wave went over its stern and caused it to capsize. The skiff was reportedly near Tenakee Springs, which is located on Chichagof Island more than 100 miles south of Juneau.

Brown found a local resident when he got to shore and notified the U.S. Coast Guard sometime before 8:30 p.m., according to Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley, a District 17 Public Affairs Officer in Anchorage.

Local volunteers on fishing boats responded to the scene as the Coast Guard sent a helicopter and crew from Sitka.

The volunteers retrieved Kelly Newman from the water, but he was unable to be revived. Mosley said the locals performed CPR on him for almost two hours before they stopped.

The Coast Guard helicopter crew was unable to locate Casey Newman despite searching from 9 p.m. to about 10:30 p.m.

A different Coast Guard helicopter resumed searching Saturday morning to no avail. Casey Newman was eventually located by underwater cameras and recovered by divers on Saturday afternoon.

Troopers in Juneau and members of SEADOGS (Southeast Alaska Dogs Organized for Ground Search) assisted in Saturday’s recovery efforts.

Next of kin have been notified. Their bodies were sent to Juneau and will be sent to the medical examiner’s office in Anchorage for autopsies.

It was not known if the brothers were wearing life jackets, or if they were, what happened to them.

Mosley said in a phone interview that Brown reported to the Coast Guard that both brothers were wearing full “float coats,” which have flotation devices in them.

But when one of the brothers was recovered by volunteers, he did not have one on, Mosley said.

Similarly, Peters said she was under the impression at least one of the men was wearing a life jacket, but it came off in the water. Peters said she wasn’t sure who it was, or why it came off. The device might have been on but not buckled, she said.

Peters said the survivor, Brown, was treated on scene. He declined further medical treatment, she said.

The water temperature was about 44 degrees at the time of the capsize. A general forecast for the area at the time said waves were at about three feet with winds at five miles per hour, according to Mosley.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at


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