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USCG: Search suspended for missing hunter near Ketchikan

Posted: September 25, 2013 - 10:18am  |  Updated: September 27, 2013 - 12:03am

JUNEAU — The Coast Guard, in a press release Tuesday, said they suspended the active search for second of two hunters near Behm Canal, close to Ketchikan.

Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews, a Coast Guard 47-foot Motor Life-Boat crew from Coast Guard Station Ketchikan, the Coast Guard Cutter Chandeleur, good Samaritans aboard the motor vessel Wilderness Adventure, Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Services and family members of the man conducted multiple searches totaling 73 hours and more than 514 square miles in the vicinity of Behm Canal from Sunday morning to Tuesday evening, the release stated.

“Suspending a case is one of the hardest decisions that we as search and rescuers have to make and our thoughts and prayers are with the family,” said Cmdr. Marc Burd, chief of response, Coast Guard Sector Juneau. “We appreciate the support of our search and rescue partners. We would like to thank all the good Samaritans involved, including the captain of the Wilderness Adventure, who notified us of the emergency, assisted in the search and put out a fire aboard the Abundance.”

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka, rescued a survivor, suffering from severe hypothermia, from the shore near the mouth of Chickamin River off Behm Canal Sunday and flew the man to Ketchikan for treatment. The man reported that he last saw his companion when he departed, with fresh game, in a seven-foot skiff to the fishing vessel Abundance.

Coast Guard watchstanders at the Sector Juneau command center received a call from the crew of the motor vessel Wilderness Adventure on Sunday morning reporting they had found the 44-foot Abundance adrift with no one aboard in the vicinity of Saks Cove.

The watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast requesting the assistance of mariners in the area to locate the hunters and directed the launch of the Jayhawk and MLB crews. The Wilderness Adventure conducted a shoreline search of the Burroughs Bay and did not see any sign of the hunters. Searches continued through the night and into Tuesday by Coast Guard assets. On Tuesday Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Service members and their rescue dogs worked with Station Ketchikan to search cabins along Chikamin River, the release stated.

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