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Six People Missing As Search Continues For Lost Fishing Vessel

Feb 12, 2017

Credit U.S. Coast Guard District 17

Twenty-eight hours after a fishing vessel went missing in the Bering Sea, U.S. Coast Guard officials say there’s been no sign of the ship -- or the six people onboard -- since searchers found its emergency beacon.

On Saturday morning, the F/V Destination sent a distress signal two miles northwest of St. George Island.

The Coast Guard launched an air search for the 99-foot steel vessel, which is based in Seattle and Sand Point.  

Petty Officer Lauren Steenson said searchers found the beacon at sea Saturday afternoon, “among a debris field containing buoys, a life ring from the Destination, and an oil sheen.”

The search continued through Saturday night and into Sunday with no luck. Steenson said she didn’t know how long the Coast Guard would continue looking. 

“I’m not sure, and I wouldn’t be able to speculate,” she said. “At the moment, we have the Coast Guard cutter Morgenthau searching, with an aviation detachment onboard. It’s an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews, and two HC-130 Hercules airplane crews.”

Steenson said St. George residents are patrolling the shore for signs of the Destination or its crew. Two volunteer ships -- the fishing vessels Bering Rose and Silver Spray -- also responded.

“We appreciate all of the Good Samaritans coming together and the community of St. George setting up search parties for the shoreline,” she said. “We really rely on the maritime community to respond to urgent marine broadcasts, help us get more eyes out there, and hope for the best.”

The Coast Guard reports the weather on-scene has winds at 25 miles per hour and seas at two to four feet. There’s light snow, and the air temperature is 21 degrees.

This is a developing story. Please check back for more information.