Alaska State Troopers have recovered the body of a Seldovia fisherman reported missing while on a boating trip from Jakalof Bay to Seldovia Monday afternoon. Searchers found Robert Purpura, 68, about a mile north of McDonald Spit in Kachemak Bay sometime after 7 p.m. April 27.
According to trooper spokesperson Elizabeth Ipsen, Purpura was reported to be traveling in a 20-foot skiff from Jakalof Bay to Seldovia. After Purpura’s wife realized he was overdue about 5:30 p.m., she called a friend who searched the area in a plane. The friend found the skiff with its engine running and in neutral, but without Purpura on board. The friend then called trooper dispatchers.
An Alaska Wildlife Trooper in the P/V Augustine joined other searchers in boats and airplanes. Purpura’s body was recovered before the U.S. Coast Guard could join the search.
Ipsen said Purpura was not wearing a lifejacket, and no personal floatation device was found near him. No foul play is suspected. Purpura’s remains will be sent to the Alaska State Medical Examiner’s office for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. His next of kin has been notified.
Purpura was a longtime Seldovia resident who ran many setnet sites in the area.