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News / Nation & World

Authorities recover bodies of 2 sisters after vessel found submerged in Alaska; 2 still missing

By BECKY BOHRER and STEFANIE DAZIO, Associated Press
Published: June 1, 2023, 1:48pm

JUNEAU, Alaska — Authorities have recovered the bodies of two sisters onboard a fishing charter boat that was found partially submerged off southeast Alaska amid rough seas. Two others remain missing from the charter, which was taken by two vacationing couples.

Alaska State Troopers said they believe the bodies are those of Danielle Agcaoili, 53, of Waipahu, Hawaii, and her sister Brandi Tyau, 56, of Canoga Park, California. They were recovered from the boat around 5 p.m. Wednesday and taken to the state medical examiner’s office.

Robert Solis, 61, Tyau’s partner, and the boat captain, Morgan Robidou, 32, of Sitka, Alaska, remain missing.

Danielle Agcaoili’s partner Maury Agcaoili, 57, was found unresponsive in the water near the boat Sunday and later pronounced dead, according to authorities.

The 30-foot (9-meter) aluminum charter vessel was overdue Sunday evening and last seen earlier that day near Sitka, a community about 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of Juneau, according to the Coast Guard. Crews later found the boat off an island about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of Sitka.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Ian Gray has said the region was experiencing 6- (1.8-meter) to 11-foot (3.35-meter) seas on Sunday. Efforts to recover the boat were ongoing, troopers said Thursday, and had previously been hampered by rough seas and strong winds.

The charter company, Kingfisher Charters, said in a statement that it was “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.”

The sisters’ parents and brother were also on the trip with them but had taken a separate vessel, said Jim Solis, the brother of Robert Solis.

The Solis family — six siblings, including Robert and Jim — grew up in Burbank, California, Jim Solis said.

Solis and Tyau met in Hawaii several decades ago when Solis, a Navy diver, was stationed there as an instructor. They have a son together and Solis also has three sons from a previous relationship.

“He was a big surfer, a really good musician. He played guitar and put together songs,” Jim Solis said of his brother. “The ocean really was his life.”

Tyau was the perfect balance for Solis. She would organize and prep for their family camping trips in the Sierras, Jim Solis said, and was a calming influence on “bigger-than-life” Solis.

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“She was a quiet person but she had this really sly sense of humor,” Jim Solis said. “We love that she was with my brother and his partner because she was definitely the yin to his yang.”

Solis became a private investigator in 1992 after eight years in the military, according to the website for his firm, The RES Group.

He was introduced to the work by an acquaintance and “felt the attraction to the field in that each and every case while having similarities depending on the nature of the case, each and every instance also had differences in that no two cases should be treated the same,” he wrote on his website.

Bob Harrison, chairman, president and CEO of First Hawaiian Bank, where Danielle Agcaoili worked, expressed condolences to her loved ones, calling her “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.”

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