Leroy Martin, 3/15/05
Frederick Martin

ADN, 3/18/05


Rescuers find bodies of father, son reported missing on fishing trip

The bodies of a father and son from Angoon missing on a fishing trip have been found.

Leroy Martin, 48, and Frederick Martin, 20, were reported overdue Tuesday.

The Martins had set out to fish commercially for halibut in the Kelp Bay area and were expected back in Angoon by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Angoon is the only permanent settlement on Admiralty Island. Kelp Bay, off Baranof Island, is across Chatham Strait, a body of water roughly seven miles wide.

The fishermen were on board their 19-foot vessel, the Rocky Pass.

Winds were blowing Tuesday from the north at 20 to 25 knots, or nearly 29 mph, with seas up to six feet.

The Coast Guard was alerted Tuesday night that the fishing boat was overdue and attempted to contact the Rocky Pass by radio with no results.

Alaska State Troopers and volunteers with Angoon Search and Rescue launched a search at 8 a.m. Wednesday. Among the searchers were a Coast Guard helicopter from Sitka, Civil Air Patrol aircraft, the cutter Liberty, three Angoon search-and-rescue vessels and good Samaritan rescuers.

At about 12:50 p.m., the body of Frederick Martin was found in Chatham Strait near Wilson Point on Admiralty Island. The Coast Guard transported the body to Sitka. Wilson Point is 26.4 miles south of Angoon.

At 2:14 p.m., the body of Leroy Martin was spotted and recovered about a mile farther south.

Investigators found no evidence of foul play and released the bodies to the family.

Searchers did not find the Rocky Pass.

Angoon is a community of more than 480 people 55 miles southwest of Juneau and 41 miles northeast of Sitka.

-- The Associated Press