Coast Guard searches for missing Juneau man; 32-found boat found empty, circling off Auke Bay

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JUNEAU, Alaska — A search for a Juneau man whose boat was recovered motoring in circles off Auke Bay has been suspended, the Coast Guard announced Wednesday.

Paul Keithahn, 52, had not left an itinerary for his trip on his 32-foot boat, the Spellbound, the Juneau Empire ( reported.

The Spellbound was spotted Monday, under power but making circles near Coghland Island, which faces Auke Recreational picnic area.

A Coast Guard crew boarded the pleasure boat and found no one at the wheel.

"They found a cellphone aboard with no other sign of anyone being there," said Coast Guard Petty Officer Shawn Eggert said.

The boat was towed to Auke Bay and turned over to Juneau police, who searched it Tuesday.

A Coast Guard search for Keithahn began Monday afternoon.

Keithahn's wife, Julie A. Hamilton, told the agency she had not heard from her husband since Saturday. She tried sending him texts Monday, she said, and received no response.

A 25-foot Coast Guard response boat and the cutter Liberty searched by water and a helicopter searched by air.

Dogs and handlers from Southeast Alaska Dogs Organized for Ground Search canvassed Coghland Island and neighboring islands.

A Coast Guard announcement Wednesday said 190 square miles were searched over 32 hours before the search was suspended.

Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire,

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