Two sisters and their partners were on the 30-foot aluminum charter vessel, along with the boat's captain, family members say
Three people died, including a couple from Hawaii, and two others remain missing after their fishing boat sank in rough waters off Alaska on Sunday.
Two sisters, Danielle Agcaoili and Brandi Tyau, as well as their partners, Maury Agcaoili and Robert Solis, were on the charter vessel, which was last seen earlier that day near Sitka, according to the Associated Press. Also onboard was the boat's captain, Morgan Robidou.
The sisters’ parents and brother were also out on the water that day, but on a separate vessel, which returned safely to port, Solis' brother told the AP.
Authorities received a call shortly before 10:30 p.m. local time that a vessel with five people onboard had capsized near Low Island in Sitka Sound, Alaska State Troopers said in a statement. At the time, U.S. Coast Guard officials found "one person located unresponsive in the water" who was taken to a hospital and pronounced deceased. That individual was identified as Maury, 57, from Waipahu, Hawaii.
That evening, the boat was found partially submerged off Low Island, about 10 miles away from Sitka, per the Coast Guard.
The following night, Coast Guard officials called off the search for the remaining four individuals.
In an update on Wednesday, Alaska Troopers announced they had recovered two bodies, believed to be Danielle, 53, and her sister, Tyau, 56, of Canoga Park, California, from the sunken vessel. "The bodies are being transported to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Anchorage for examination and positive identification," police said.
Solis, 61, and Robidou, 32, of Sitka, remain missing. Vessel recovery operations are ongoing.
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The region where the boat was located on Sunday had been experiencing rough waters, with 6- to 11-foot waves, but was not under an advisory, according to Hawaii News Now.
Authorities searched by air and sea for the boat for 20 hours, and covered an 825-mile-wide area, but ultimately decided to suspend the search.
"Suspending a search is never an easy decision,” said Capt. Darwin Jensen, with the Port Southeast Alaska. “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."
Kingfisher Charters said in a statement they were "devastated by the loss of the guests and captain of the Awakin," according to the AP.
"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 company added.
In a statement released on behalf of the Agcaoilis, their family shared they appreciate "all of the kind words and condolences during this difficult time,” according to Hawaii News Now.
“Family and friends will remember them as loving and encouraging parents," the statement read. "We ask that people respect the families privacy as they continue to grieve."
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