The search has been suspended for two boaters who went missing early Sunday morning on a trip from Mountain Point in Ketchikan to Annette Island in Metlakatla.  That according to Coast Guard public affairs officer Bill Colcough. The Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad assisted in the search.

Colocough says, initially, two helicopter crews from Air Station Sitka, and two boat crews from Coast Guard Station Ketchikan were deployed. The Coast Guard cutter Maple, from Station Sitka, arrived Monday morning to assist.

Alaska State Troopers identified the missing men as Troy Smart, age 45, and Timothy Staples, age 38, both of Metlakatla. They reportedly left Mountain Point near Ketchikan shortly after midnight Saturday.

The fiancé of one of the men expected them to arrive at Cowboys Camp on Annette Island shortly after their departure.

When they didn’t make it on time, she called the Coast Guard.  

Colclough says the Coast Guard was able to make a quick response because they were called shortly after the men went missing.

He says having information about the vessel, the time and place of departure and the location they were trying to reach is critical in a search and rescue.

The helicopter crew located the overturned 16-foot skiff belonging to the missing men in Blank Inlet on Gravina Island at approximately 9:45 Sunday morning. The crew of the Good Samaritan vessel Storm Rage righted the skiff and towed it to Ketchikan.

Colclough doesn’t know what caused the vessel to capsize but he said it will be investigated.

We will update this story as more information is available.

With thanks to KTOO’s Quinton Chandler for contributing much of this report.