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JUNEAU, Alaska — The Coast Guard suspended the search for 52-year-old Paul Keithahn in the vicinity of Coghlan Island near Auke Bay Tuesday.
Crews from Station Juneau, the Coast Guard Cutter Liberty, Air Station Sitka, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Juneau S.E.A.D.O.G.S. and the Alaska State Troopers searched a total of 190-square miles for approximately 32 hours before suspending search efforts.
Watchstanders at Sector Juneau received the initial report Monday from a good Samaritan who reported seeing the Keithahn’s vessel, the 32-foot pleasure craft Spellbound, operating unmanned. When contacted by Coast Guard watchstanders, the man’s wife said she hadn’t heard from her husband since Saturday. A 25-foot response boat crew from Station Juneau investigated the vessel and found it to be unoccupied with the man’s cellular phone still aboard. The vessel was towed to Auke Bay and secured in Juneau Police Department’s custody while an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Sitka commenced a search for the man. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Liberty joined the search Monday evening.
“The decision to suspend our active search efforts is always difficult,” said Cmdr. Marc Burd, chief of response, Coast Guard Sector Juneau. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members of Mr. Keithahn.”