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Search for overdue mariner – update

The Coast Guard suspended its search for a missing mariner in Bristol Bay, near Ugashik, Saturday.

Response crews covered more than 8,000 square miles, an area approximately the size of New Jersey, during the 54-hour search for Roland Briggs, after receiving a report from his family Thursday morning that he failed to return from a trip from Egegik.

Coast Guard units involved in the search included multiple HC-130 Hercules airplane crews and MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, the Coast Guard Cutter Munro, and the MH-65 Dolphin helicopter deployed aboard the Munro. Good Samaritans also assisted in the search using a small aircraft and vessels in the immediate area.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr. Briggs, making the decision to suspend a search is never easy for a search and rescue mission coordinator,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jared Buchmiller, an operations specialist at the Coast Guard 17th District command center. “We are grateful for the gracious hospitality of the Pilot Point community, who assisted our MH-65 crew while they landed at the airfield for repairs.”

Coast Guard crews are searching Bristol Bay for a mariner reported overdue between Egegik and Ugashik, Thursday.

Roland Briggs, the lone mariner aboard the 50-foot landing craft Ketivik, was due in Egegik Wednesday afternoon, according to a family member.

Coast Guard crews currently involved in the search include an HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak and the Coast Guard Cutter Munro crew. A good Samaritan also assisted in the search using a small aircraft on Thursday.

At this time, crews have covered 6,339 square miles using search patterns. On Thursday evening, the Hercules crew spotted debris matching the description of gear on Briggs’ vessel. Coast Guard 17th District command center watchstanders are using the finding to hone search patterns.

Weather on scene is reported as 2-foot seas, 20-mph winds and 10 miles of visibility.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Briggs should contact the 17th District command center at 907-463-2000.

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