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The U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday morning it was still searching for Andy Teuber and working to confirm whether debris found north of Kodiak belongs to his missing helicopter.
That’s despite information provided to the Daily News by a Coast Guard spokesman that debris located Tuesday evening was from the helicopter piloted by Teuber, who recently resigned as president of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
On Wednesday morning, the Coast Guard had an MH-60 Jayhawk and the Cutter Stratton en route to the search area, according to Petty Officer Lexie Preston.
Preston said any information about the debris belonging to Teuber’s helicopter “must have been a misunderstanding because the Coast Guard has only been able to confirm that debris has been located. We have not been able to confirm if that debris belongs to the overdue helicopter or not as of this morning.”
Teuber was reported to have left Merrill Field in Anchorage just after 2 p.m. Tuesday in a Robinson R66 helicopter, the Coast Guard said in a statement Tuesday night. A family member notified the agency about three hours later that he was missing and had planned to travel to Kodiak.
The family member said Teuber was alone in the helicopter, Preston said.
Teuber’s last known location was approximately two nautical miles southeast of the uninhabited Barren Islands in the northern Gulf of Alaska between the Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak, about 60 nautical miles to the southwest.
A data buoy in the area showed winds at water level of 12 to 15 mph gusting from 21 to 27 mph at mid-afternoon Tuesday.
The Coast Guard launched a C-130 fixed wing airplane and a MH-60 helicopter to search and discovered debris around 7 nautical miles southeast of Ushagat Island, a spokesman said Tuesday night.
Ushagat Island is in the Barren Islands, southwest of the Kenai Peninsula and north of Kodiak Island.
Teuber lives in Anchorage and is originally from the Kodiak area. He was president and chairman of the Alaska Tribal Health Consortium from 2008 until his resignation last week. He was also president of the Kodiak Native Association and served on the University of Alaska Board of Regents until he stepped down last week.
The helicopter’s tail number, N1767, was registered to Kodiak Helicopters LLC. According to business records, the company is owned by Teuber.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.