Alaska State Troopers and the U.S. Coast Guard are searching for a Wrangell boater who embarked on a five-day fishing trip on Nov. 5 and hasn’t been seen since.
Trooper spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said the family of Kenneth Trammel reported him as an overdue boater on Sunday morning. A 53-year-old Wrangell resident, Trammel left for a fishing trip on his white 38-foot Bayliner “Thalasa” on Nov. 5 and planned to return to Wrangell Nov. 10.
“So far, he hasn’t answered calls over the VHF radio or on his cell phone,” Ipsen said by email.
It’s not known where Trammel planned on fishing. Searchers are looking for him in popular fishing areas in Wrangell waters, near Berg Bay, Blake Channel and Deer Island.
Searchers are battling bad weather in the form of gale force winds, low visibility and snow. A winter storm advisory is in effect for the search area.
“The Coast Guard and its partners are up against some extreme weather, but we train year-round to locate and assist missing mariners,” Commander Marc Burd, the search and rescue mission coordinator for Coast Guard Sector Juneau, said Monday in a prepared statement.
A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew searched for Trammel’s vessel by air for a short time on Sunday. The helicopter crew searched again Monday, alongside the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa.
Commander Burd said the Coast Guard is requesting the assistance of any good Samaritans to aid in the search.
One good Samaritan has already helped by piloting a Cessna 185. The Cessna searched areas north and west of Wrangell Island, and the strait between the island and the mainland called the Back Loop, Ipsen said.
Alaska Wildlife Troopers are also helping to look for Trammel. A Wildlife Trooper went out on a boat Sunday but rough, choppy seas prevented him from going out again today.
Searchers have yet to find any sign of the Thalasa, Ipsen said Monday afternoon.
Wrangell is about 155 miles south of Juneau.
Anyone with information about Trammel’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Alaska State Troopers at (907) 225-5118 or the Coast Guard Sector Juneau Command Center at (907) 463-2980.