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No Signs of Overboard Wasilla Man in Cook Inlet

By Mallory Peebles, Crime and Law Enforcement, Natural Resources and Parks Reporter, Fill-in Anchor, mpeebles@ktuu.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 06:34:13 AM AKST
Updated On: Oct 09 2013 01:32:44 PM AKDT

The official search of a Wasilla man, who went overboard near the small boats harbor in Anchorage, ended Monday evening, according to the United States Coast Guard.

Around 6 p.m. Monday, search operations were suspended after spending 18 hours scouring a 10-square-mile area for Peter McNeal, 28, the man who fell into the waters just before midnight Sunday, after notifying family and friends

Search efforts were conducted by the Coast Guard, State Troopers, Anchorage Fire Department, Anchorage Police Department, Alaska Air National Guard and Ted Stevens International Airport Police.

Troopers say he was attempting to transfer from a skiff to a tug boat.

A posting on the website for Brice Incorporated, a subsidiary of Calista Corporation, says, "late Sunday night, Oct. 6, we received word of a coworker falling into Cook Inlet near the Port of Anchorage, [...] our thoughts and prayers are with our friend and his family."

Chief of Response Coast Guard Commander Shawn Decker says McNeal was not wearing a life jacket, only a sweatshirts, jeans and boots.

"Not wearing a lifejacket impacts our ability to locate the person in the water," said Chief of Response Coast Guard Commander Shawn Decker, before the search was suspended. "A lifejacket will allow that person to remain on the top of the water and he or she would be more easily seen by a helicopter, by a rescue boat or by a jet ski."

Around 6 p.m. Monday, search operations were suspended after spending 18 hours searching a 10-square mile area, which included efforts by the Coast Guard, State Troopers, Anchorage Fire Department, Anchorage Police Department, Alaska Air National Guard and Ted Stevens International Airport Police.

According to the Coast Guard, weather on scene at the time of the incident was reported to consist of 20-knot winds and 1-2-foot seas and water temperature was reported to be 46 degrees.

“McNeal will be listed as a missing person,” said troopers.

Editor’s Note: KTUU’s Neil Torquiano contributed to this story.