Update: Coast Guard suspends search for missing Haines fisherman

Update, 9:00 p.m.

The Coast Guard suspended its search for a 62-year-old Haines fisherman who went overboard Tuesday afternoon near Skagway. The news came in press release issued shortly before 8:00 p.m. Tuesday.

At about 12:40 p.m., Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a call from a Skagway police officer reporting the man had gone overboard from the fishing vessel Darlin’ Michelle.

The search covered 20 square miles and included a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Sitka, a HC-130 airplane based at Air Station Sacramento, Skagway emergency response personnel, Alaska State Troopers, three good Samaritan vessels, and a Temsco helicopter.

“It is always a very hard decision to make when you have to suspend a search for a man overboard,” Sector Juneau watchstander Nick Meyers said in the Coast Guard press release.

Winds in the search area were reportedly 35 miles per hour, with 2 foot seas.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Original post, 5:15 p.m.

The Coast Guard was notified about 12:40 p.m. Tuesday that a 62-year-old man was missing from the fishing vessel Darlin’ Michelle in the fjord between Haines and Skagway.

A deckhand was on board at the time and made the call to the Coast Guard, according to Lt. Ryan Erickson.

A Jayhawk helicopter and C-130 from Air Station Sitka were dispatched to the scene. A Wings of Alaska plane on a scheduled flight from Haines to Skagway and a tour company helicopter from Skagway assisted with the air search. An Alaska State Troopers’ boat and fishing vessels from Haines were helping with the search on water.

Darlin’ Michelle is captained by Haines fisherman Ted Lynch. Several independent reports from searchers identified Lynch as the missing fisherman, who was commercial shrimping in the Tayia Inlet between Haines and Skagway.

Skies were clear and sunny in the area Tuesday afternoon. But the National Weather Service has a gale warning in effect through Tuesday evening for the Upper Lynn Canal with a north wind of 35 knots and gusts up to 50 knots forecasted. Seas were expected to reach 7 feet.

 


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Source: Margaret Friedenauer, KHNS