September 30, 2018 / 6:36 AM / 2 months ago

Officials suspend search in Alaskan waters for helicopter crash victims

(Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search on Sunday for three missing people from a helicopter crash in the frigid waters near Lituya Bay, about 116 miles (187 km) northwest of Juneau, Alaska.

Authorities searched 788 square miles (2,041 square km) over a period of more than 36 hours, a Coast Guard statement said.

“After maximizing search efforts with air, surface and shoreside assets we suspended the search today,” Captain Darran McLenon, of the 17th Coast Guard District, said in the statement.

A 14-year-old boy was found alive on Friday, a few hours after the wreck, suffering from mild hypothermia, but otherwise in good condition, according to Coast Guard spokesman Nate Littlejohn.

The survivor was with his family and being evaluated at an Anchorage hospital, McLenon said.

Neither the Coast Guard nor the Alaska Department of Public Safety has released the names of the missing people or the youth.

But local media, including the Anchorage Daily News, identified the boy as Aiden Pepperd, the son of the owner of an Alaska construction and engineering company.

Missing were the boy’s father Josh Pepperd, 42, the man’s other son, Andrew Pepperd, 11, and the pilot, David King, 53, owner of Last Frontier Air Ventures, local media reported.

Wreckage from the helicopter has been washing ashore on a beach about 3 miles (5 km) east of the Lituya Bay fjord, officials said.

Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Additional reporting by Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Peter Cooney

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