Skiff overturns, boaters missing near Yakutat

Posted: Friday, September 08, 2000

YAKUTAT (AP) -- Two fishermen are missing and presumed dead after their skiff was found overturned near Yakutat, Alaska State Troopers said Thursday.

Troopers and the Coast Guard began searching about 3 a.m. after Chuck Johnson, 40, of Yakutat, and his cousin, Erik Kveum, 21, of Hoonah were reported overdue, said trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson.

Johnson and Kveum are presumed dead because they reportedly had neither life jackets nor survival suits, Wilkinson said.

The men left Wednesday in a 19-foot open skiff to check set nets off Ocean Cape Point, 4.6 miles west of Yakutat, officials said.

''It was supposed to be a two-hour trip,' said Coast Guard Petty Officer Darrell Wilson. ''The wife of one of the men called the Coast Guard at midnight when they were definitely overdue.''

Local residents searched the shoreline Wednesday and a helicopter spotted the overturned skiff Thursday.

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