Missing Boater Found Dead Near Seldovia

Sixty-eight-year old Robert Purpura, of Seldovia, was identified Monday night after an extensive search throughout the day.

Alaska State Troopers report they were contacted by Seldovia pilot Keith Gain, who said he was searching for a missing boater. Gain told Troopers he’d located Purpura’s skiff floating near McDonald Spit with the motor still running.

Purpura was reported missing after being several hours overdue coming home from Jakolof Bay.

Responders notified the US Coast Guard. Troopers from Anchor Point responded in the P/V Augustine. Several private vessels were out searching the area around Seldovia as well.

Just after 7 p.m., the crew of a fixed-wing aircraft from Homer spotted a body floating in the water about a mile north of McDonald Spit.

Search vessels surrounded the area and Purpura’s body was recovered and identified.

Troopers report the state medical examiner was contacted and no foul play is suspected. Next of kin has been notified.

Purpura was a well-known and liked community member around the southern peninsula. According to friends, he was a longtime resident of Little Tutka, where he lived and raised children on a houseboat. He then moved to Seldovia, where people were attracted to his colorful and boisterous character.

He was serving as the chair of the Seldovia Fish and Game advisory committee and was active in local public affairs.

He is survived by family and friends.