Friends, relatives call off search for missing Southeast boater

Posted: Monday, January 26, 2004

ANCHORAGE - Friends and relatives have called off the search for a missing 48-year-old boater who was last heard from when he radioed for help around noon Thursday while en route to Craig.

Greg Clark, who lived in a remote home at Cape Pole on Kosciusko Island, radioed that his 32-foot boat had broken up on rocks northwest of Prince of Wales Island, forcing him to abandon ship.

Over the next few days, searchers recovered debris including a rolled-up survival suit and a life ring but found no sign of Clark or two Labrador retrievers he had with him.

The U.S. Coast Guard called off its search just after 11 a.m. Saturday after launching 13 searches using Jayhawk helicopters and a 110-foot cutter based in Auke Bay, Petty Officer Cory Cichoracki said.

Friends and family members, including a pilot, patrolled the water and roamed beaches for a few more hours. The last group of volunteer searchers came off the beach in early afternoon, Clark's neighbor Jenny Wilks said by phone from his home.

"It's just been too long," Wilks said.

Clark was born in Oregon, grew up in Idaho and spent the past 17 or 18 years living alone at the rustic cabin at Cape Pole, west of Prince of Wales Island. He milled his own wood, including the red cedar that lined the walls of his home, Wilks said.

He raised Labrador retrievers and was experimenting with kelp he grew himself, hoping to market it as a nutritional supplement or commercial fertilizer, she said.

Clark's brother flew in to help search on Saturday, but by afternoon, the gathering at the cabin had become a wake for a man friends called "the self-made professor" because he was so intelligent, Wilks said.

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