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Press Release | Feb. 6, 2023

UPDATE: Coast Guard, partner agencies suspend search for missing person in Willapa Bay

SEATTLE – The U.S. Coast Guard and partner agencies suspended search efforts at 5:30 p.m. Monday evening for a missing man in Willapa Bay, Washington.

Rescue crews completed 18 different search patterns, covering 290 sq. miles during over 15-hours of searching.

“Suspending search efforts is a tough decision that we never take lightly,” said Lt. Cmdr. Colin Fogarty, the Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator for Coast Guard Sector Columbia River. “This search involved close coordination between state and local agencies. We truly appreciate their assistance, especially from Pacific County. The Coast Guard continues to speak with the family affected by this incident.”

Watchstanders at the Thirteenth Coast Guard District in Seattle received an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) transmission Sunday at approximately 7:30 p.m. Sunday from the 46-foot crabbing vessel Ethel May near the Willapa Bay entrance.

Personnel at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River in Warrenton, Oregon, were notified that the wife of one of the men aboard the vessel also called 911 to report an emergency aboard the vessel.

An air crew on Sunday night was able to find two survivors from the vessel in a life raft and took them to awaiting EMS at a nearby airport.

Crews and assets that assisted in the search:

  • Coast Guard Air Station Astoria
  • Coast Guard Air Station North Bend
  • Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor
  • Pacific County Office of Emergency Management
  • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Original press release can be found here: