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Search continues in Alaskan waters for helicopter crash victims

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By Reuters

(Reuters) – The U.S. Coast Guard continued its search overnight and into early Sunday for three missing people from a helicopter crash in the frigid waters near Lituya Bay, about 116 miles northwest of Juneau, Alaska.

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

“We are still hoping to find survivors,” said Littlejohn. “This is still a rescue operation.”

Neither the Coast Guard nor the Alaska Department of Public Safety have 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 an Alaska construction and engineering company.

Missing are the boy’s father Josh Pepperd, 42, his 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 three miles east of the Lituya Bay fjord, officials said.

A Coast Guard cutter searched the waters and shoreline overnight, Littlejohn said, and a military MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter will resume searching for survivors at first light Sunday.

(Reporting by Rich McKay; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)