Saturday, August 1, 2009

Update on the Togiak man overboard search

U.S. Coast Guard, 17th District

Aug. 1, 2009

Coast Guard suspends search for Montana man in Togiak Bay

KODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard suspended the search Saturday at 5:20 p.m. for a 31-year-old fisherman, reported to have fallen overboard from the 28-foot fishing vessel Miss Colleen approximately one half mile off Anchor Point in Togiak Bay.

Benjamin Symmes, a Montana resident, was reportedly last seen aboard the ship between 9:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Friday and was reported to have been wearing orange rain gear.

Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak crews conducted an HC-130 Hercules aircraft search and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter search totaling more than 16 hours of search time and covering more than 300 square miles. The Miss Colleen searched throughout the night and approximately 10 good Samaritan vessels also assisted in the search.

The Coast Guard 17th District Rescue Coordination Center in Juneau was notified of Symmes' disappearance at approximately 9:46 p.m via VHF radio from the Miss Colleen Friday and issued an urgent marine information broadcast to request the assistance of any vessels in the area.

Crews from the Hercules and Jayhawk from Air Station Kodiak searched throughout Friday evening but did not locate Symmes. The Miss Colleen crew ended its search Friday evening.

The helicopter crew began its search Saturday at 7:59 a.m. and searched until about 2:26 p.m. The crew conducted a shoreline search as well as the surrounding waters in hopes of locating Symmes.

Weather conditions in the search area Saturday were mostly cloudy with scattered showers, an air temperature of 55 degrees with southeast winds at about 10 mph and seas of about seven feet. The water temperature is approximately 50 degrees.

The Miss Colleen is a seiner and is homeported in Anacortes, Wash. A seiner primarily fishes for salmon and herring.


Anonymous said...

Ben was a wonderful young man. Everyone who knew him will miss him greatly, and we are all devastated. Our hearts go out to his mother (Diane) and father (Tom), and their entire extended family.

Anonymous said...

Ben has made a huge impact on my life, even though I haven't known him very long. He was a sweetheart even though he would never admit it. Ben was an amazing guy and anyone would be lucky to know him. I haven't given up hope. Just wish there was a guardian angel with him. I miss you Ben...