Coast Guard suspends search for Sitka man

State Troopers wait for weather to continue search for fisherman

Posted: Monday, October 26, 2009

A multi-agency search for a Sitka fisherman who is believed to have fallen overboard his vessel in Fish Bay yielded no results over the weekend.

Michael Diverty, 51, was last seen leaving Sitka in his vessel, the Miss Dee Dee, on Friday around noon.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Alaska State Troopers conducted air and water searches Friday, Saturday and Sunday, finding nothing. They were helped by operators of the Good Samaritan vessels the Norgail and the Brandt, said Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters.

Fish Bay is about 20 miles north of Sitka.

State police called off the search Sunday due to poor weather conditions.

"The forecast is bad until Tuesday," Peters said.

The Troopers would try to continue the search effort Tuesday, she said.

Diverty was reported missing when the crew of another fishing boat, the Brandt, found the Miss Dee Dee aground in Schulze Cove with no one on board and the engines still running at about 7 p.m. Friday.

A life boat and life-saving equipment were still in the vessel, the Coast Guard reported.

The Coast Guard called off its search Sunday afternoon.

The Coast Guard conducted four helicopter soirees over the weekend, and sent the crew of the 110-foot cutter Naushon to search by water in Fish Bay, Schulze Harbor, Sergius Narrows and Peril Straight, said Sector Juneau Operations Controller Todd Buck.

The Naushon is from Ketchikan.

Sitka Mountain Rescue also participated in the search with a two-man shore team and a search dog on Piper Island, located near where Diverty is thought to have fallen overboard.

The 32-foot Miss Dee Dee was turned over to Diverty's sons, who took it back to Sitka on Sunday, Buck said.

Diverty's family could not be reached for comment.

The incident caused no reported pollution or impact to the area, according tot he Coast Guard.

• Contact reporter Kim Marquisat 523-2279 or

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