PUBLISHED: 6:17 PM on Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Coast Guard suspends search for Petersburg fisherman
PETERSBURG - The Coast Guard on Sunday suspended the search for a 52-year-old Petersburg man who was reported missing on Sept. 12 after failing to return from a three-day fishing trip in Frederick Sound.

A Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Sitka located the overdue vessel of Thomas Lews, named Hurricane, aground on Cape Fanshaw with no one on board. Hurricane's engines were running and the catch on board was not cleaned or spoiled.

Cape Fanshaw is located about 30 miles northwest of Petersburg.

Information retrieved from the vessel's navigation system and laptop indicated that no entries had been made after 5:45 p.m. on Sept. 9.

Ground teams from the South East Alaska Dogs Organized for Ground Search (SEADOGS) searched the area of the grounded fishing vessel.

Coast Guard, Civil Air Patrol and Army National Guard aircrews conducted extensive searches of the area, including the shorelines of all smaller neighboring islands. Coast Guard Cutter Liberty, Coast Guard Auxiliary and seven Good Samaritan fishing vessels searched the waters off of Cape Fanshaw. A total of 1,472 nautical miles were searched.

The Coast Guard is still asking mariners and aircraft transiting this area to remain vigilant and report any sightings to the Coast Guard at 463-2991.