Coast Guard suspends search for missing crab boat crewman in Willapa Bay; 2 others rescued

PACIFIC COUNTY, Wash. — On Monday, the Coast Guard released video that shows a rescue swimmer dropping down to help two men in a life raft in southwest Washington, near Pacific County.

Their crabbing vessel, the Ethel May, ran into trouble at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Watchstanders with the Coast Guard in Warrenton, Oregon were notified after the wife of one of the crewmembers called 911 to report an emergency aboard the vessel.

An aircrew arrived on the scene at about 8:10 p.m. Two men were hoisted to safety and taken ashore to awaiting emergency medical services before being transported to a hospital for further evaluation.

The two men reported there was a third man on the boat with them who could not be found.

Crews found debris in Willapa Bay that indicated the vessel had broken apart but saw no sign of the missing man.

“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, in a news release. “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.”

Rescue crews covered 290 square miles during more than 15 hours of searching.