A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew medevacs a patient from Wrangell to Sitka, Alaska, July 17, 2018. (Courtesy photo | Stephen Prysunka)

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew medevacs a patient from Wrangell to Sitka, Alaska, July 17, 2018. (Courtesy photo | Stephen Prysunka)

Coast Guard suspends search for missing Kake man

Reginald Skeek Jr. might have fallen from a pier, troopers say

The U.S. Coast Guard announced Thursday night that it has suspended search efforts for a 55-year-old Kake man who might have fallen off a pier Wednesday.

Reginald Skeek Jr. was reported missing to Ketchikan State Troopers at about 8:51 p.m. Wednesday, according to an Alaska State Troopers Dispatch. Skeek had not been seen since about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, the dispatch stated, and community members were already searching for him when troopers received the report.

Skeek had been seen at the Kake Liquor Store earlier that day, and the store’s surveillance footage showed an unidentified person falling into the water from the dock behind the liquor store at about 1 p.m. Wednesday, according to the trooper dispatch.

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew searched the shoreline and surrounding waters, according to the Coast Guard release. At about 8 p.m. Thursday, the Coast Guard announced that it had suspended its search, which was about 12 hours after the Coast Guard had been notified of the disappearance.

“Suspending a search is one of the hardest decisions we make in the Coast Guard,” Cmdr. Byron Hayes, Sector Juneau search and rescue mission coordinator, said in the release. “The decision is made with great care and deliberation, and with heavy hearts for the family and friends of the missing man.”

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