Coast Guard calls off search

    Nome, Alaska (KINY) The man went overboard of the fishing vessel the Juda Lee.

    The Coast Guard suspended its search Friday for a man in the water west of Nome. The search was suspended at 7 p.m. Friday.

    Coast Guard helicopter crews searched a total of approximately 41 square nautical miles over the course of more than five hours.

    "Despite our best effort, we were not able to locate this man," said Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Seth Caron in the 17th District command center in Juneau. "Most of us joined the Coast Guard to saves lives, without much thought about how it would feel on days we are not able to. We can't imagine the pain the family and friends of this man must be experiencing." 

    The Coast Guard launched an Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew out of Kotzebue to search for the man who reportedly entered the water with no life jacket approximately 7 miles west of Nome. He was last seen sinking below the water's surface by crew aboard his fishing vessel.

    The Coast Guard received the initial report at about 10:45 a.m. Friday from Alaska State Troopers that the man fell overboard, and that the Juda Lee crew's attempts to recover him were not successful.

    The Coast Guard issued an urgent marine information broadcast to alert potential mariners in the area.

    Several Coast Guard helicopter crews joined in the search that began at about 1:50 p.m.

    Weather conditions at the time the Coast Guard arrived on scene were 20 mph winds, 5-foot seas, an air temperature of 32 degrees and a water temperature of 43 degrees.

    "Cold water is completely unforgiving," said Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Seth Caron from the District 17 command center. "When a person goes into cold water with no life jacket, our chances of finding them alive are vastly diminished."

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