Search suspended for missing Bristol Bay crewman in Ugashik

Jul 27, 2017

U.S. Coast Guard air assets, state troopers, Pilot Point VPSO and volunteers, and good Samaritans searched until Thursday night for a crewman from the F/V Lady Colleen who went overboard around midnight Thursday.

Drift boats fishing near the north line of the Ugashik District, July 2016.
Credit KDLG

Update Friday 6 p.m.: The U.S. Coast Guard search for a missing crew member was suspended Thursday night at 8 p.m. The man fell off the F/V Lady Colleen around 12 a.m. Thursday in Ugashik Bay.

“Our search for a man who was reported fallen overboard from the Lady Colleen was suspended," public affairs officer chief petty officer Shawn Eggert said Friday morning. "That was after conducting a search of one hundred and fourteen square miles with our Coast Guard helicopter crews, as well as volunteer efforts of those who were conducting ground searches, shoreline searches via ATV. Battling through very rough weather we were still able to search a very large search area.”

Next of kin have been notified. The name of the crew member has not been released.

A Pilot Point set netter said it appeared every boat and skiff still fishing in Ugashik had been involved in search efforts, including checking all the sand bars at low tide.

Original story below.

KDLG: As of noon Thursday, a fisherman is still missing after going overboard in Ugashik Bay around midnight.

Coast Guard air assets were on the tarmac in Dillingham to refuel and to wait for fog around Ugashik Bay to lift.

Petty Officer Bill Colclough says the vessel Lady Colleen reported just after 12:00 a.m. Thursday that a crewman had just gone overboard.

"The person was observed falling into the water wearing dark green rain bibs, with no personal floatation device, and could not swim," he said. "The crew reported they were unable to get the person before being observed going underneath the water and not resurfacing.”

The Coast Guard issued an urgent broadcast to other vessels in the area, and launched two air crews from Air Station Kodiak. The Pilot Point VPSO, volunteers, and state troopers joined in the effort through the night, so far with no success.

The air assets waived off mid-morning due to weather and to refuel at the Dillingham Airport.

"They had to pause the search due to low visibility conditions. As soon as weather conditions allow us to resume the search, the MH-60 Jayhawk crew will continue the search for the missing person from the fishing vessel Lady Colleen," Colclough said.

Ugashik is the furthest south of Bristol Bay's fishing districts, located near the villages of Pilot Point and Ugashik.

Reach the author at dave@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.

Ugashik Bay photographed from Pilot Point, July 2016.
Credit KDLG