JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Two vacationing couples — including sisters — and a fishing boat captain were on a charter boat found partially submerged off southeast Alaska over the weekend amid rough seas, family members said Wednesday.
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.
The search for the four missing people was suspended by the Coast Guard late Monday. Their names were made public Wednesday.
Maury Agcaoili, 57, of Waipahu, Hawaii, was found unresponsive in the water near the boat Sunday and later pronounced dead, according to authorities. His partner Danielle Agcaoili, 53, is among the missing boaters. The missing also include her sister Brandi Tyau, 56, of Canoga Park, California; Tyau’s partner, Robert Solis, 61; and the boat captain, Morgan Robidou, 32, of Sitka.
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.
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.
Austin McDaniel, a spokesperson for the Alaska State troopers, said Wednesday that the three passengers and captain are still considered missing persons. He said authorities hope to learn more once the boat is recovered.
The troopers said efforts to recover the vessel have been ongoing, with rough seas and strong winds in the area.
The Solis brothers 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. The couple loved to fish together.
“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.”
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.