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Coast Guard locates 3 men reported overdue from Prince William Sound fishing trip

Ben Anderson

The U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday found three men aboard a vessel that had been reported overdue returning from a two-day fishing trip out of Whittier into the waters of Prince William Sound.

According to the Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers contacted the agency Tuesday morning to inform them of the missing men, identified as John Dimmick, 40, Mark Valdez, 28, and Cory Bicchinella, 25, of Anchorage. The three men were reportedly aboard a 24-foot Bayliner with a gray top, and had departed Whittier Sunday morning. They were expected to return to the small community by Monday night.

“Coast Guard Cutter Long Island was launched from Valdez, and a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew forward deployed in Cordova was diverted from another incident to aid in the search,” the Coast Guard reported in a release.

According to Petty Officer 3rd Class Diana Honings, the search assets arrived Tuesday morning and immediately began searching a "fairly broad" area for the missing vessel and the men aboard.

The Bayliner was later spotted by the helicopter crew "near the lower passage of Knight Island" at 11:25 a.m., Honings reported. Honings said the men reported having engine problems but no one was injured. The men were anchored and awaiting the arrival of the Long Island to render assistance, Honings said about noon Tuesday.

She said that the wind was blowing at 25 knots in the vicinity of the search, with 57-degree temperatures and 4-foot waves.

Contact Ben Anderson at ben@alaskadispatch.com.