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By Dan Rudy 

Wrangell fisherman found dead; vessel still missing


Submitted Photo

Kenneth Trammel

At 2:18 pm on Wednesday, following a search by the United States Coast Guard and Alaska State Troopers, the body of an adult white male was located floating in Earl West Cove approximately 12 air miles southeast of Wrangell. The body was transported and positively identified as Kenneth Trammel by next of kin in Wrangell. The body will be transported to the State Medical Examiner's Office for autopsy. The vessel has not been located.

Relatives of 53-year-old Kenneth Trammel reported him missing Sunday, having not heard from him for several days after he was due back.

Submitted Photo

The white, 38-foot Bayliner "Thalasa" belongs to missing fisherman Kenneth Trammel, who was by Tuesday a week overdue from a fishing trip. State, federal and local authorities have coordinated a sea- and airborne effort to locate him.

Troopers spokesperson Beth Ipsen said earlier Trammel had planned for a five-day fishing trip, leaving Wrangell with hand-troll gear in his 38-foot Bayliner "Thalasa" on Nov. 5. Attempts to contact him by phone and by radio have been unsuccessful, and it is not known where Trammel had planned to fish.

Shortly after he was reported missing, Wrangell's Alaska Wildlife Trooper Fred Burke started searching to the west and north of the island. The Coast Guard has joined the search with the Petersburg-based cutter "Anacapa" and a helicopter being deployed. Concerned community members have also been assisting.

"There was a Good Samaritan flying around in a Cessna 185," Ipsen said. Members of the Wrangell Fire Department were also being enlisted Tuesday to assist in the search.

The onset of wintry weather has been an issue for the searchers, with rough water preventing the Troopers from sending out a boat on Monday. The Coast Guard's search was suspended Monday evening due to a weather advisory, but was resumed the following morning with clearer conditions to work with.


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