Three family members are dead and a fourth is missing after their charter boat capsized in a tragedy during a weekend fishing trip and birthday celebration in Alaska.
Brandi Tyau, 57, and Rob Solis, 61, of Canoga Park, were part of a group of eight family members from around the country who arrived May 25 in Alaska. Brandi Tyau’s older brother, Mike Tyau, and his wife Nancy also were part of the trip in celebration of his sister’s 56th birthday.
“I think Brandi and Rob, you know they were just enjoying life,” Mike Tyau said. “That’s why they were just so gung-ho to go this fishing trip.”
The group went salmon fishing Sunday morning, then moved on to their next spot in rougher open waters. The Kingfisher Charters excursion separated into two groups, but only one of the charter boats returned to dock. Mike Tyau was on one boat with his wife and parents. Rob Solis, Brandi Tyau, her sister and her sister’s partner were on the other boat.
That afternoon, Mike Tyau’s boat docked, but the other one was missing. Mike Tyau said he texted members of the group, but did not receive a reply.
“The four of us, we were a little worried,” Mike Tyau said.
By nightfall, the horrible news arrived. The Coast Guard found the 30-foot aluminum charter boat partially submerged off Low Island, about 10 miles west of Sitka.
Fifty-seven-year-old Maury Agcaoili, of Hawaii, was found unresponsive about 200 feet from the boat. He was later pronounced dead.
After the Coast Guard searched 825 square miles over 20 hours, the search was suspended Monday. On Wednesday, the bodies of Brandi Tyau and sister Danielle Agcaoili, 53, were found by Alaska State Troopers. Rob Solis and the boat’s captain remain missing.
Swells in the area were between 6 and 11 feet Sunday, but no weather advisories were issued, the Coast Guard said.
The charter company said in a statement that it was “devastated by the loss of the guests and captain of the Awakin.”
We are fully cooperating with the U.S. Coast Guard in its investigation of this tragic event and hope that it furnishes answers to the questions as to how it occurred,” the statement continued.
Jim Solis, Rob Solis’ brother, told the Los Angeles Daily News that they grew up in Burbank. His brother and Brandi Tyau met several decades ago in Hawaii when Rob Solis was stationed there as a diving instructor. The couple have a son together, he said.
“He was a big surfer, a really good musician. He played guitar and put together songs,” Jim Solis told the Daily News. “The ocean really was his life.”