Search suspended for missing jet ski rider

Posted: Sunday, April 23, 2000

JUNEAU (AP) -- The Coast Guard suspended its search Saturday for a 16-year-old boy missing near Juneau after being thrown from a personal watercraft.

The search was called off at 5:12 p.m. after an all-day effort involving teams in the air, on the water and on land, said Petty Officer Jim Barber.

''We feel we've saturated the land and water in the area where the boy could possibly have been,'' Barber said. He described the search area as being 3 miles by 5 miles.

Alaska State Troopers said they would resume their search Sunday morning.

The missing boy is one of two aboard the watercraft when it capsized in Auke Bay late Friday night, said Petty Officer Roger Wetherell, a Coast Guard spokesman.

Both were wearing only street clothes and no life jackets. Authorities have not released the names of either teen.

The driver of the watercraft swam to a nearby island and was later taken by boat to Auke Bay, where an ambulance took him to Bartlett Regional Hospital for treatment of hypothermia, Wetherell said.

Three helicopters and four boats were used for Saturday's search, which turned up no sign of the missing boy.

Barber said search dogs were also used on area islands in case the boy reached land.

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