Tenakee response key to search and rescue
The cause of the boating accident that killed two young Juneau men Friday remains under investigation.
Twenty-six-year-old Casey Newman and 23-year-old Kelly Newman were returning to Tenakee Springs after a day of hunting across the inlet when their 18-foot Lund skiff capsized. Twenty-six year old Jim Brown Jr., was able to swim to shore.
Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters says Brown was not wearing a life jacket. Kelly Newman’s body was recovered Friday night floating with a PFD. According to Peters, Casey Newman was wearing a PFD when he went into the water, but was recovered on Saturday underwater without a PFD.
Both the U.S. Coast Guard and Troopers were involved, but the response by the community of Tenakee was key, says Petty Officer David Mosley. He says Coast Guard Station Sitka was alerted about 7 p.m. Friday and launched a helicopter and searched in coordination with surface assets until the search was suspended for the night.
“The next morning local volunteer searchers, divers from Alaska State Troopers and another helicopter out of Sitka were in the area searching when divers found the third individual,” Mosley says.
“It’s a case we found out about from a local there who heard across the radios that were being used in the town that there were people missing, a search was being generated, and we immediately responded. But by the time we’d gotten there one of two individuals had been recovered, and CPR was being conducted, but unsuccessful. It’s a tragic situation that while we were there to help ended up unfolding kind of through the efforts of multiple agencies, especially those volunteers in the community .”
The Newman brothers are survived by their parents, Nancy Davis and Joe Newman of Juneau.
All three men graduated from Juneau Douglas High School, Brown and Casey Newman in 2004 and Kelly Newman in 2007.