Volunteers find boater’s body after Whittier search
The brother of a longtime Chugiak lawmaker, who was reported missing on a weekend crabbing trip, has been recovered from waters near Whittier.
Karl Stoltze was found dead after the U.S. Coast Guard suspended a search for him and his skiff.
City of Whittier Harbormaster Kyle Sinclair said the 53-year-old Anchorage resident was located at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, by volunteer searchers. Sinclair had initially reported Stoltze overdue Saturday afternoon to the Coast Guard after he and his 16-foot skiff didn’t return from a Passage Canal trip to tend crab pots.
“We had spotted a buoy, so the volunteers went out,” Sinclair said. “They went out and located the buoy and it was Karl.”
Stoltze’s body had become tangled in lines from the skiff, Sinclair said. He was wearing a life jacket but no survival suit.
The Coast Guard said at least two good Samaritan vessels, the Qayaq Chief and Krystalsea, had joined the cutter Mustang and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter in “saturating” eight square miles of the canal and Whittier harbor in an unsuccessful search for Stoltze. Debris and an ice chest were spotted in an initial search, but official efforts to locate Stoltze were suspended Sunday evening, after 35 hours of searching.
A family friend had called Stoltze a kind person, who was always willing to share his love of the sea.
Sinclair said one of Karl Stoltze’s brothers is former state senator Bill Stoltze, a Chugiak Republican who spent nearly 15 years in the Legislature including a dozen in the House.
Karl Stoltze’s body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Anchorage, Sinclair said.
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