U.S. Coast Guard Seventeenth District
Public Affairs Detachment-South Central Alaska

 DHSUSCGBanner.gif
Press Release

Contact: Petty Officer Sara Francis
Ph: (907) 271.2660
(907) 321.4510
Coast Guard Command Center Juneau: (907) 463.2001

COAST GUARD SUSPENDS SEARCH FOR MISSING CREWMAN FROM OCEAN CHALLENGER

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The Coast Guard suspended search efforts today at 7:49 p.m. for Steve Esparza, age 26, of Kodiak, after exhaustive air and sea searches were unable to locate him.

 A Coast Guard C-130 and an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Kodiak with the Coast Guard cutter Munro searched approximately 1,730 square miles over the course of 46 hours and 20 minutes. No signs of Esparza were sighted. 

 Pending additional information, no further searches are planned.

 The Ocean Challenger capsized Wednesday 60 miles south of Sand Point around 9:30 a.m. Three of the four crewmembers were recovered from the water by the Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter crew. 

 Deceased are David Hafflequist, age 51, of Hoonah, and crewmember Walter Foster, age 26, of Westport, Wash.  The survivor, Kevin Ferrell, age 28, of Lynchburg, Va., was taken to a Cold Bay medical facility, and then transferred to Anchorage. He is working with Coast Guard investigators to provide an accurate account of the incident so investigators can determine the cause of the capsizing.

###

Printer Friendly Versionprinter friendly