Colorado Man Missing After Alaska Boating Accident

By Matt Kroschel

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CBS4) –┬áThe search continues for well-known Vail Valley man who is missing in Alaska after a boating accident.

A spokeswoman for the Alaska State Troopers tells the Associated Press a steering problem may have disabled a boat before four people were ejected into the Kenai River Friday night.

phillip keltner alaska missing 3 Colorado Man Missing After Alaska Boating Accident

(credit: Keltner family)

Sixty-three-year-old Phillip Keltner lives part of the year in Alaska and the rest of his time is spend in the Edwards area where he operates a snow removal company. Keltner was one of the four who entered the river from the disabled boat. The other three people managed to swim to shore.

phillip keltner alaska missing 1 Colorado Man Missing After Alaska Boating Accident

Phillip Keltner (credit: Keltner family)

Family members and locals in the area are searching the rugged river banks along with Alaska emergency crews.

Reached by cell phone Wednesday, Keltner’s daughter says they are desperate to find him. They say a large search party is working to locate him. Several members of his family from Colorado are at the site now.

Keltner was last seen floating downriver. None of the four boaters had life jackets on at the time of the accident. The cause is still under investigation.

phillip keltner alaska missing 2 Colorado Man Missing After Alaska Boating Accident

(credit: Keltner family)

According to the AP report on the incident, the Kenai River is Alaska’s most heavily fished river. Rainbow trout and runs of Chinook, sockeye and silver salmon draw thousands of anglers.

The 82-mile river drains the Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to mrkroschel@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

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