Hawaii couple among 3 dead after fishing charter boat capsizes in Alaska
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Three people are dead, including a couple from Hawaii, and two others are missing after the fishing charter boat they were on sank off Alaska on Sunday, according to officials and family members on Wednesday.
Alaska State Troopers identified the couple as 57-year-old Maury Agcaoili and wife 53-year-old Danielle Agcaoili, of Waipahu.
The Agcaoilis were both passengers on the boat, along with Danielle’s sister 56-year-old Brandi Tyau and Brandi’s partner 61-year-old Robert Solis, both from California.
On Wednesday evening, troopers recovered two female bodies from the sunken vessel that are believed to be Danielle and Brandi. They’re being transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage for examination and positive identification.
Solis and the boat captain 32-year-old Morgan Robidou, of Sitka, remain missing.
The sisters’ parents and brother were also on the trip with them but had taken a separate vessel, according to Jim Solis, the brother of Robert Solis.
The U.S. Coast Guard said it received a call Sunday night from Kingfisher Charters reporting that a 30-foot aluminum charter boat with five people on board had not returned from a day fishing trip.
Using both air and vessel search crews, the Coast Guard found the charter boat partially submerged off Low Island, approximately 10 miles west of Sitka. Crews also recovered Maury Agcaoili’s body in the same area.
The Coast Guard searched a total of roughly 825 square miles over the course of more than 20 hours.
The search for the missing individuals was suspended around 9:30 p.m. Monday.
“Suspending a search is never an easy decision,” said Darwin Jensen, captain of the Port Southeast Alaska, in a statement. “We extend our deepest sympathy to the loved ones during this difficult time. Our sincere thanks to community partners and the good Samaritan vessels who rapidly responded to help in the search.”
A Coast Guard spokesman said the swells were between 6 to 11 feet on the day of the sailing, rougher than normal, and that Alaska weather conditions are unpredictable. There was no advisory and sailings are at the captain’s discretion.
In a statement, Kingfisher Charters said it is “devastated by the loss of the guests and captain of the Awakin. We are fully cooperating with the U.S. Coast Guard in its investigation of this tragic event and hope that it furnishes answers to the questions as to how it occurred.”
A relative told HNN Wednesday Danielle’s body has since been recovered.
In Hawaii, an outpouring of condolences from the community.
Pearl City High School’s band director shared the news with parents in an email, writing that the Agcaoilis were active volunteers and their children Jarek and Jessika had been members of the band. A few band parents are hosting a meal rotation to help the children.
Danielle worked in the Residential Services Division at First Hawaiian Bank. CEO Bob Harrison extended condolences to family and friends, saying in a statement that “she was a beloved member of our First Hawaiian Bank ‘ohana. We are keeping Dani, her husband, and her family members in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Alaska State Troopers said salvage crews are working to bring the boat to Sitka so officials can conduct a full investigation.
A statement has been made on behalf of the Agcaoili family:
The family of Maury and Danielle Agcaoili appreciates all of the kind words and condolences during this difficult time. Their family and friends will remember them as loving and encouraging parents. We ask that people respect the families privacy as they continue to grieve.
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