Family Celebration Turned Deadly: Details Emerge On Victims Of Alaskan Boat Sinking


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A family reunited after 10 years is in mourning after their brief reunion turned deadly when a chartered boat sank off the coast of Alaska, killing three and leaving two others missing.

Coast Guard officials searched the waters off of Alaska for more than 20 hours after one of two boats chartered by the Tyau family didn’t return May 28. The eight-member extended family had decided to spend Memorial Day weekend in Alaska in an effort to reconnect after living apart for 10 years in Los Angeles and Hawaii, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

“It was just supposed to be a simple family get-together for eight of us, since we haven’t been together in the same spot for so long,” Michael Tyau told The AP Thursday. “For it to turn out like this is really devastating.” (RELATED: REPORT: Coast Guard Searching For Four Fisherman After Boat Goes Down Off Massachusetts Coast)

Michael was one of three siblings of the Tyau family. He and his sisters, Brandi and Danielle, grew up fishing in Hawaii with their parents, The AP reported. Michael flew with his wife from Los Angeles to meet his parents, his sisters and their spouses, Robert Solis and Maury Agcaoili, to Sitka, Alaska where the family had charted a multi-day fishing expedition with Kingfisher Charters, according to The AP.

After rough waters caused Michael’s spouse and his two sisters to struggle with seasickness Friday, the women opted to forego the fishing adventure Saturday. By Sunday, the last day of their trip, the women agreed to go out once again with Michael, recalling Danielle saying she “didn’t want to let anybody down.”

Michael, his wife and his parents set off on the boat Pockets, while his sisters and their spouses boarded the Awakin. Opting for different fishing spots, the boats went off in different directions. When the Pockets returned, Awakin was still out. However, the family only began worrying when, by Sunday evening, they couldn’t reach any member of their family on the boat and the charter company announced they had lost contact with the boat’s 32-year-old captain, Morgan Robidou, The AP reported.

Though it is unclear what happened to the Awakin, it was found partially submerged off the coast of Low Island, about 10 miles west of Sitka. Brandi and Danielle’s bodies were found inside the cabin, while Danielle’s husband Maury was found in the waters near the boat. Solis and Robidou are still missing.

Investigations into the tragedy are being conducted by Coast Guard investigators who have revealed the area was experiencing six to 11-foot waves at the time of the incident. Kingfisher Charters released a statement stating they are “devastated by the loss of the guests and captain of the Awakin” and assured they are “fully cooperating” with the subsequent investigation, The AP reported.