Alaska News

Search called off for missing Sitka kayaker

Rescue crews have suspended search efforts for a kayaker who disappeared Sunday afternoon near the Eastern Channel, troopers wrote in an online alert.

Sitika Mountain Rescue reported just after noon Sunday that 36-year-old Kale Pastel of Sitka was overdue from kayaking, the alert said. Pastel left Eliason Harbor around 5 a.m. and was headed toward Birds Nest Bay, troopers wrote.

A good Samaritan towed an overturned kayak to shore after finding it Sunday morning in the Eastern Channel, according to a statement from the Coast Guard. Troopers said the kayak was similar to Pastel’s.

Around 1:15 p.m., a Coast Guard helicopter crew began to search the area with infrared technology. Troopers said the Sitka Mountain Rescue used three boats to search the water.

Crews continued to search the area until about 3:30 p.m. Monday, the alert said. Search efforts were suspended and troopers said that Pastel’s next of kin have been notified.

Troopers are asking anyone with information about Pastel to call 907-465-4000.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, focusing on breaking news. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota and previously helped cover the Nebraska Legislature for The Associated Press. Contact her at