A U.S. Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk searches Gastineau Channel for a possible missing boater after the boat Sealion was found adrift near the Petro Marine docks on Nov. 29, 2019. The boater was accounted for later. (Yang-Hui Lee | Courtesy Photo)

A U.S. Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk searches Gastineau Channel for a possible missing boater after the boat Sealion was found adrift near the Petro Marine docks on Nov. 29, 2019. The boater was accounted for later. (Yang-Hui Lee | Courtesy Photo)

Coast Guard resolves search for possible missing boater, but questions remain

The boat was adrift with the engine running

Coast Guardsmen searched Gastineau Channel after a boat was found adrift with the engine running Friday morning.

The boater was later contacted by phone, and is unharmed, ending the search, said Public Affairs Specialist 3rd Class Amanda Norcross. But how the boat came to be adrift in the channel is still unanswered.

“We’d received a report of a vessel that was unmanned and adrift,” Norcross said in a phone interview Friday. “Local law enforcement was contacted by Petro Marine.”

The Sealion was found adrift with the engine running but not in gear and moored to the Petro Marine Services pier, Norcross said. A Response Boat – Medium and an MH-60T Jayhawk from Kodiak Coast Guard Air Station were deployed to search the channel for the possible missing boater. The owner of the Sealion was contacted and is out of town, but an acquaintance of the owner was going to take the boat to Aurora Harbor today, not far from where it was found drifting, Norcross said.

Norcross said the search was initially going to be carried on until the boater was located or new orders came down from using the helicopter’s night vision/infrared search gear. The search was called off when the man who was to take the boat to Aurora Harbor was contacted by phone and was not in distress.

The Coast Guard assets have been called off at this time, and the issue is in the hands of the Juneau Police Department, Norcross said.

JPD could not immediately be reached for comment.


• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.


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