Plane debris found near Kake



The U.S. Coast Guard, partner agencies, and volunteers continued to scour the the waters near Kake on Wednesday after an overdue Guardian Air plane that was approaching the village on Tuesday evening never arrived.

The twin-engine Beechcraft King Air 200 was due to arrive at 6:19 pm; dusk in the area was at 5 pm.

Aircraft debris was found in Chatham Strait, about 22 miles west of Kake, near the south end of Admiralty Island. It was initially spotted from the air by a Wrangell-based search-and-rescue effort and was picked up by the Coast Guard. But officials haven’t confirmed the debris is from the overdue aircraft.

The Alaska Army National Guard has joined the search that is led by the Coast Guard to find the medical plane that was enroute to pick up a patient. Kake is on the northwest shore of Kupreanof Island.

On board were three Juneauites, identified by Guardian Flight as pilot Patrick Coyle, 63, flight nurse Stacie Rae Morse, 30, and flight paramedic Margaret Langston Allen, 43, all based in Juneau.

The electronic locating transmitter (black box) on board the aircraft has not been broadcasting,  according to Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa out of Petersburg and the Cutter Bailey Barco out of Ketchikan are continuing the search, along with a Sitka-based MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, assisted by:

  • Alaska National Guard
  • Alaska State Troopers
  • Petersburg Search and Rescue
  • Kake Search and Rescue
  • Wrangell Search and Rescue
  • Alaska Marine Highways Ferries
  • Good Samaritans with small boats in the area

The weather forecast in the area for Thursday shows a gale warning, with an arctic front pushing south over the Panhandle. Northerly winds are expected to increase through the day behind this front and peak on Friday afternoon before diminishing very slowly through Sunday. The water temperature is 42 degrees and water conditions are reported to be rough.

(The Image at the top of this story is file photo of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa)


  1. God bless those lost, their families, and the first responders. I pray the person they were on their way to assist in Kake has received the care needed and is also safe. The Coast Guard, National Guard and the people on the surrounding islands of Kupreanof, Mitkof, Wrangell, etc. are committed and the best in Search and Rescue and are all too familiar with these types of events. Prayers to all of you. Be safe.

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