Debris from a plane was located in the water Wednesday, January 30th, as the U.S. Coast Guard and others continue to search for a medevac aircraft that went missing Tuesday night on a flight from Anchorage to Kake.
On Thursday, Guardian Flight’s Randy Lyman released a statement. “While the Coast Guard and others continue the search for the missing Guardian Flight aircraft off the coast of Alaska, the debris found by searchers unfortunately gives us a very strong indication that it was our airplane. While search and rescue efforts are continuing in an attempt to find survivors, we are resigned to accept that the aircraft was ours.”
Late Wednesday night, the company released the names of its missing crew. 63-year old pilot Patrick Coyle, 30-year old flight nurse Stacie Rae Morse, and 43-year-old flight paramedic Margaret Langston were aboard the twin-engine Beechcraft King Air 200 plane owned by Guardian Flight. All of the crew members are based in Juneau. The plane was traveling from Anchorage and due to arrive in Kake at 6:19 p.m. Tuesday evening but did not.
In a statement Wednesday night Lyman said, “We continue to ask for prayers and support as we focus on these crew members and their families during this very difficult time.”
The Coast Guard has been focusing their search on the last known position of the aircraft, an area of water 30 nautical miles by 20 nautical miles west of Kake.
“The Coast Guard and partner agencies and volunteers, they’re still continuing the search for that overdue aircraft near Kake,” said Charly Hengen, public affairs specialist with the Coast Guard. “We did receive reports that debris from a plane was located in the water approximately 22 miles west of Kake. It’s located about the south tip of Admiralty Island in Chatham Straight. However the Coast Guard cannot confirm that the debris is from the overdue aircraft.”
The Coast Guard says the electronic locating transmitter is not broadcasting for the plane.
The cutters Anacapa and Bailey Barco continue to search the area Thursday along with a helicopter from air station Sitka. Search and rescue volunteers from Kake, Petersburg and Wrangell have been helping out. Petersburg’s search and rescue team was returning to Petersburg Thursday.