Body ID'd as missing fisherman

Posted: Friday, September 02, 2005

A body found Thursday morning under at least 80 feet of water about 18 miles south of town was identified as a Juneau gillnetter whose boat was seen washed up on mud flats early Tuesday.

Mark Allen Smith, 42, had not been heard from since Monday night. The U.S. Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers and Civil Air Patol had searched for him in the Slocum Inlet area. The Coast Guard suspended its search Wednesday, but troopers continued with the help of volunteer divers and friends from Juneau.

Trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson said Smith was located Thursday morning by a remote underwater camera operated by friends Randy Gregg and Alfie Cook. Three divers recovered the body.

Wilkinson said the death is believed accidental and the state medical examiner is not requiring an autopsy.

Smith was found about 45 feet from the end of the rope that trailed off of his anchor. It was not tangled and there was no indication of why Smith went overboard.

Smith was one of a few gillnetters working the 72-hour coho opening in Taku Inlet.

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