Search suspended for man overboard from skiff in Prince William Sound
The U.S. Coast Guard spent much of Friday looking for a man who fell overboard from a skiff on the west side of Prince William Sound, but was unable to locate any sign of him.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios said that the man went overboard at about 2 a.m. Friday from a commercial setnet skiff in Main Bay. An initial report was made to Cordova police, who relayed information about the incident to the Coast Guard by roughly 4 a.m.
“It was reported that (the man was) unable to climb back in the skiff,” Rios said. “The skiff driver left to get help, and when he returned he was unable to find the person.”
Rios declined to identify the man, but said he reportedly wasn’t wearing any kind of personal flotation device when he went into the water.
The Coast Guard issued an urgent marine information broadcast to boaters in the area, sending a Valdez-based response boat and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from a forward operating location in Cordova to look for the man.
Visibility in the area was good, at 10 nautical miles, but water temperatures were at 55 degrees and no personal effects from the man were spotted. Active efforts to find him ended at 7 p.m.
“There was nothing we could find that would support our search efforts, and for that reason we had to make the hard decision to suspend the search,” Rios said.
Cordova police weren’t immediately able to provide any further information on the initial call or the man’s identity Saturday afternoon.