KISAR member Steve Wielebski received a call Friday, July 3 at 11:47 from US Coast Guard, Sector Anchorage. Sector Anchorage explained that the Coast Guard would like assistance from KISAR on a ground search for a missing man from the Dungeness crab F/V Pacific Dynasty. Two men and a dog had left the fishing vessel on Thursday afternoon in an inflatable raft to go beachcombing on Tugidak Island. They were last seen by the vessel’s Captain late Thursday evening where it appeared to him they were getting into the raft to leave the island to come back to the boat. They never arrived. The captain of the F/V Pacific Dynasty had been able to contact another fishing vessel before daybreak to assist in the search for the missing men at dawn. They located one man, found deceased on the beach and partially buried in the sand, and retrieved the dog alive.
Wielebski contacted KISAR member Nick Szabo at 12:00 noon to help with the call out for available KISAR members. Around 14:00 KISAR member Shea Long and Wielebski arrived at Air Station Kodiak with 24-hour packs. KISAR had VHF radios and sat phone for comms. KISAR members were issued flight suits, helmets, life vests and left at approximately 14:45 for the flight to Tugidak in an H-60.
The CG helo dropped Wielebski and Long off by landing on the beach near the inflatable raft that was found about a mile east of where the Captain last saw the men alive. The Captain had asked the CG to search west of where the raft was located. Wielebski and Long found some foot tracks and dog tracks that looked as if they were heading in the direction of an old building about a mile away so the KISAR team searched the building and looped back to the inflatable. Wielebski and Long then headed west along the beach for at least a mile (based on a recorded track in Gaia) when they were contacted by the helicopter crew that the CG was ready to pick KISAR up for the flight back to Kodiak. Wielebski and Long arrived back at the CG base at approximately 19:00 and the search was suspended.