Alaska News

Troopers, Coast Guard seek overdue Wrangell boater

The search for a missing Wrangell boater was suspended for the night Monday but efforts were expected to resume in Tuesday's daylight, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Word that Kenneth Trammel was overdue reached troopers just before 10:30 a.m. Sunday, according to a Monday dispatch.

"Investigation revealed (Trammell) left Wrangell on (Nov. 5) in his white 38-foot Bayliner, the Thalasa, and was scheduled to return on (Nov. 10)," troopers wrote. "Trammel has not been seen or heard from since Nov. 5."

Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert said the first overflight of the area was made Sunday by a small Cessna plane from Wrangell Search and Rescue. The Coast Guard also deployed a helicopter on Sunday.

Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said an Alaska Wildlife Trooper briefly took a boat out Sunday to search for Trammel but had to return due to rough seas. The boat was unable to join the search Monday, again because of rough seas.

Ipsen said search efforts Monday for Trammel, who had been on a fishing trip with an unspecified destination, were focused on "popular fishing areas ... north and west of Wrangell Island and the Backloop -- the strait on the east side of the island between the island and the mainland." According to Eggert, the Coast Guard has deployed the cutter Anacapa and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka to join the search?.

Ipsen said Monday that no sign has been found of Trammel's white Bayliner, which carries both a VHF radio and a cellphone. The boat can also be recognized by its commercial fishing gear.

"Since he also uses it for commercial fishing, it has commercial gear onboard such as a troller," Ipsen wrote. "So far he hasn't answered calls over the radio or on his cellphone."

The Coast Guard described weather in the search area, under a winter weather advisory Monday afternoon, as including "gale force winds, low visibility and snow."

Anyone with word on Trammel's location should contact troopers at 907-225-5118 or the Coast Guard at 907-463-2980.

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