USCG Ends Search for Man Overboard in Gulf of Alaska

The Challenge Prelude arrives Hobart, Tasmania, 2016 (Walter Pless / social media)

Published Mar 26, 2018 9:16 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Coast Guard has called off a search for a 22-year-old crewmember of the product tanker Challenge Prelude, who went missing Sunday at a position about 100 nm south of Sand Point, Alaska. 

The crew of the Prelude noticed that the seaman was missing at about 1325 hours on Sunday, and the vessel's master notified the Coast Guard at 1417. The master sounded the general alarm and had the crew search the vessel, then followed a reciprocal track line back to the location where the crewmember was last seen on board. An inventory determined that all lifesaving equipment on the ship was accounted for. 

Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak dispatched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and a C-130 Hercules aircrew, and working with the Prelude, the service conducted a 14-hour search covering 680 square miles of the Gulf of Alaska. Surface conditions were calm and the water temperature on scene was 39 degrees. 

“Due to the length of time, and with the extreme environment, the District 17 Command Center made the call to suspend the search,” Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer Lauren Dean told Alaska Public Media.

“The Coast Guard utilized various assets, while saturating the search area in hopes of finding the 22-year-old,” said Capt. Darran McLenon, District 17 chief of response. “Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.”