Officials Suspend Search in Alaskan Waters for Helicopter Crash Victims

October 1, 2018 Updated: October 1, 2018

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search on Sept. 30, for three missing people from a helicopter crash in the frigid waters near Lituya Bay, about 116 miles northwest of Juneau, Alaska.

Authorities searched 788 square miles over a period of more than 36 hours, a Coast Guard statement said.

“After maximizing search efforts with air, surface and shoreside assets we suspended the search today,” Captain Darran McLenon, of the 17th Coast Guard District, said in the statement.

A 14-year-old boy was found alive on Friday, a few hours after the wreck, suffering from mild hypothermia, but otherwise in good condition, according to Coast Guard spokesman Nate Littlejohn.

The survivor was with his family and being evaluated at an Anchorage hospital, McLenon said.

Neither the Coast Guard nor the Alaska Department of Public Safety has released the names of the missing people or the youth.

But local media, including the Anchorage Daily News, identified the boy as Aiden Pepperd, the son of the owner of an Alaska construction and engineering company.

Missing were the boy’s father Josh Pepperd, 42, the man’s other son, Andrew Pepperd, 11, and the pilot, David King, 53, owner of Last Frontier Air Ventures, local media reported.

Wreckage from the helicopter has been washing ashore on a beach about 3 miles east of the Lituya Bay fjord, officials said.

By Rich McKay