Search suspended for overboard crewman off Alaska

The following is text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(KODIAK, Alaska) — The Coast Guard suspended its search Friday for a man reported overboard from the 780-foot cruise ship Amsterdam in Sitka Sound, Alaska.

Two Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews searched a total of 163 square miles in the Sitka Sound, from Cape Ommaney to Biorka Island and surrounding waters in efforts to locate the man.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau watch standers received notification at 9 p.m. Thursday, from the Amsterdam reporting the man missing after he did not show up for his shift. The master was made aware of the missing man at 7:45 p.m. The Amsterdam crew made extensive searches of the vessel, but did not locate the crewmember.

"It’s never an easy decision to suspend a search,” said Cmdr. Byron Hayes, Sector Juneau search and rescue mission coordinator. "Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of this man."

Weather was reported as 45-mph winds, low visibility, 7- to 10-foot seas, a water temperature of 55 degrees and an air temperature of 62 degrees.

By Professional Mariner Staff