SEATTLE – The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a Seattle-based fishing vessel that went missing in the Bering Sea Saturday.
According to Chief Petty Officer Shawn Eggert, the Coast Guard responded to a radio beacon signal from the 98-foot crab boat Destination on Saturday morning near St. George, Alaska. Search crews arrived shortly after 10 a.m. to begin searching.
It’s unknown if the vessel sank or if the crew was lost, but a debris field was located with a buoy, life ring with the vessel's name on it, and a small oil sheen in the area. The Coast Guard says that six crew members were believed to be on board at the time it went missing.
The following are the latest updates on the search:
Monday 11:30 a.m.
A Coast Guard officer on a high-endurance cutter says Bering Sea fishing vessels at this time of year face hazards from large waves to icing that can upset a boat's balance.
Lt. Brenden Kelley is operations officer and navigator on the 378-foot cutter Monroe. A sister vessel, the cutter Morgenthau, is also searching for a 98-foot crab boat, the Destination.
The Coast Guard received an emergency positioning signal Saturday from the Destination. Searchers found the signal device and buoys in a debris field, but no signs of its six crew members.
Kelley says by phone from Kodiak that weather is the biggest hazard at this time of year.
He says mariners pay close attention to wind and waves and can use sophisticated tools to determine how much ice may be accumulating on their boats.
Ice can make the vessels top-heavy.
Monday 10 a.m.
A C-130 transport plane is rejoining the search for a 98-foot crab boat with six people on board missing off a remote Alaska island in the Bering Sea.
Speaking from Kodiak, Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Steenson said Monday the aircraft could reach the scene near the island of St. George after a flight of about two and a half hours.
She also said the cutter Morgenthau was continuing its search.
The Coast Guard received an emergency electronic signal on Saturday from the Destination. Searchers spotted a debris field containing buoys, life ring and oil sheen.
St. George is 650 miles west of Kodiak.
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau, a 378-foot high endurance cutter homeported in Honolulu, Hawaii, arrived Sunday morning to assist in the search for the crew of F/V Destination, along with an Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules airplane crew and two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews.
St. George residents were also searching the shore for any crew members.
A Coast Guard spokesman said the agency doesn't yet know the cause of the boat's disappearance or whether anyone survived.
KING 5 has heard from members of Seattle’s fishing community who say the Destination is a locally-based vessel. Follow comments and updates on the KING 5 Facebook page: