Troopers call off search for missing kayaker

Anchorage Daily NewsJune 29, 2012 

The search for kayaker missing in Southeast Alaska has been called off, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Colin Buness, 25, left his home in Wrangell on June 19 to kayak and hike on the Kikahe and Stikine rivers, troopers said. Buness, an experienced backcountry traveler, transmitted coordinates for his remote location with a beacon on June 22, but he didn't indicate he was in trouble, a troopers spokeswoman said.

Buness failed to return from the trip as planned on June 24, prompting a search the next day. The effort ultimately involved personnel and equipment from the troopers, the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Guard, with volunteers with Wrangell Search, Rescue and Sitka Mountain Rescue and Southeast Alaska Dogs Organized for Ground Search.

The searchers found some of Buness' things, including his boat stuck in a logjam on Thursday and his zipped-up jacket on Friday, said troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters.

"They haven't found any signs that he left the water at any point," Peters said.

Buness' family, including his father, a member of the local rescue squad, is aware of the decision to call off the search, Peters said. Buness' name will now be entered into a statewide missing persons database, she said.

Reach Casey Grove at or 257-4589.

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