Officials suspend search for Kake resident who likely fell from pier

The Coast Guard and Alaska State Troopers Thursday night called off the search for a Kake resident who is believed to have fallen off the town pier and drowned.

State troopers in Ketchikan were notified shortly before 9 p.m. on Wednesday that 55-year-old Reginald Skeek Jr. had gone missing after last being seen in the Kake liquor store earlier in the afternoon.

Community members and two village public safety officers began a search for Skeek on Wednesday. On Thursday, officers reviewed surveillance video from the liquor store and observed an unidentified individual falling off the dock into the water behind the store at about 1 p.m. the previous day. Additional troopers and a helicopter from Air Station Sitka responded to search for Skeek, without success.

The Coast Guard announced it had suspended the search for Skeek on Thursday evening.

“It’s one of the hardest decisions we have to make,” mission coordinator Byron Hayes said.

Weather during the search was good, with light winds and seas of one to two feet.

Robert Woolsey is the news director at KCAW in Sitka.

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