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Coast Guard suspends search for man overboard near Cordova

Michelle Theriault Boots

The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a missing Cordova man last seen trying to swim to shore from his capsized boat.

Erman "Tony" Fonzi, 34, and Matthew Ward, 28, both of Cordova, were staying at a cabin in the Deep Bay area of eastern Prince William Sound when they decided to go fishing on the evening of Oct. 5, Alaska State Troopers said.

Their five-foot long, flat-bottomed boat capsized about 50 yards from shore, according to the Coast Guard and troopers. Fonzi and Ward were not wearing lifejackets, a Coast Guard spokesman said.

Ward was able to swim to shore but saw Fonzi go under the water about 40 yards from land, troopers said in an online dispatch.

Fonzi hasn't been seen since.

Initially troopers incorrectly identified the missing man as Frank Fonzi, who is Erman "Tony" Fonzi's brother. 

Coast Guard helicopters and Alaska Wildlife Troopers searched Saturday night and for several hours Sunday before calling off the search.

Troopers will canvass beaches at low tides in the coming days.

Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at mtheriault@adn.com or 257-4344.

 


By MICHELLE THERIAULT BOOTS
mtheriault@adn.com