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USCG suspends search for missing crewman

Posted: June 19, 2013 - 10:44am

The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for a crewman who went missing near Porpoise Island, 40 miles west of Juneau, Monday.

Tim Lane — vessel master of the 34-foot Swift, based in Sitka — told Alaska State Troopers that Alan Young, 25, of Chehalis, Wa., intentionally jumped overboard without a life vest to swim. Lane said he launched a skiff to rescue Young after he became visibly distressed. Lane was unable to locate Young.

Just after midnight, the fishing vessel Pacific Horizon came across the Swift and found no one on board. Crew from the Pacific Horizon contacted the Coast Guard. A broadcast was sent out to mariners in the area to help locate the missing Swift crew. By Tuesday morning, a mildly hypothermic Lane was found on a beach with his skiff overturned.

During their immediate search, the Coast Guard reported light winds and calm seas, which eventually became two-foot seas.

Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer Sara Francis said many factors are considered when determining whether to continue or halt a search effort.

“Making a suspension call is really one of the hardest things to do,” Francis said. “We look at the circumstances, the weather, if they were in a life jacket, what they were wearing. All of those things affect the amount of time an individual can survive in the water.”

Alaska State Troopers and a canine search and rescue team are now conducting an underwater search for the crewman’s body.

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