Virginia Beach Coast Guard member found dead in Alaska

Posted at 5:12 PM, Jan 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 17:12:00-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – A Virginia Beach man assigned to the Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro was found unresponsive and later declared dead in Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

Seaman Ethan Kelch, 19, was reported missing Saturday night. Crewmembers were deployed to conduct a ground search, and an Air Station Kodiak MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew attached to the Douglas Munro was launched to search by air.

Search parties found Kelch unresponsive on the west side of Amaknak Island. Local emergency medical services personnel performed CPR and transported him to Iliuliuk Clinic. He was pronounced dead at the clinic early Sunday morning.

“The Coast Guard is deeply saddened by the tragic news that we lost one of our own,” said Rear Adm. Matthew T. Bell Jr., Coast Guard 17th District commander. “As we mourn his death, we send our deepest condolences to Seaman Kelch’s family and loved ones.”

An investigation is currently underway, and the Coast Guard is working with local authorities to determine the cause of death.

Kelch graduated from Frank W. Cox High School in Virginia Beach in 2017, according to Lauren Nolasco with Virginia Beach City Public Schools.