The Coast Guard suspended the search for the fishing boat Evening and her two crew, homeported out of Westport, on Wednesday morning after several days of searching.
The search began Sunday for the fishing boat when a family member reported them overdue returning, according to Coast Guard public affairs specialist Petty Officer 2nd Class Steve Strohmaier.
“Coast Guard members at Station Grays Harbor in Westport received a call from the daughter of one the men stating their father was already supposed to have returned home from the fishing trip,” Strohmaier said in an email. “She was not sure of their intended destination, so the Coast Guard had a wide search area.”
The vessel set out on Oct. 12 and was due to return on Oct. 15, according to a Coast Guard social media post. The Coast Guard sortied aircrews aboard a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria and a C-130 from CGAS Kodiak to search the area.
“Coast Guard crews have concentrated our physical search efforts north to south from areas off the southwest coast of Vancouver Island (west of the town of Ucluelet, B.C.), south to Newport, Oregon,” Strohmaier said. “The aircrews have searched in essentially a rectangular area going as far north and south as mentioned before, and in an east to west area of about 100 miles offshore of the Oregon, Washington and (southwest) Vancouver Island coast.”
Aircrews broadcast the vessel’s information on the international maritime distress channel, asking mariners to keep a watch for the vessel, Strohmaier.
“We have also asked all Coast Guard crews based in Washington and Oregon to keep an eye out for the vessel in their local marinas in case the individuals come in for provisions or fuel,” Strohmaier said. “It is very uncommon to have a vessel go completely missing.”
While the search is suspended, information such as sighting a life ring or receiving a communication from the sailors aboard would reignite the search, Strohmaier said.
“We could then restart the search with this amplifying information,” Strohmaier said. “But at this time, we had to make the difficult decision to suspend the case. Our biggest consideration during this choice is the safety to our crews.”
The Coast Guard extended its condolences to the families of the sailors in a social media post.
Anyone with information regarding the location of this vessel is asked to contact the Coast Guard at 206-220-7001, according to a social media post.
Contact Senior Reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or firstname.lastname@example.org.