Coast Guard confirms missing fisherman found by divers inside vessel in Willapa Bay

SEATTLE — Coast Guard personnel have confirmed that the missing fisherman was found by divers inside the sunken vessel, the Kelli J, prior to it being refloated by contractors in Willapa Bay, Friday.

Pacific County Sheriff’s Office personnel transported the fisherman to a local funeral home that evening.

The vessel is being taken to the Nachotta marina with the owner’s insurance company coordinating the remaining salvage efforts.

The Kelli J was originally reported missing on Saturday, May 19, which sparked search and rescue efforts that extended into Monday when the search was suspended. Multiple efforts were conducted to attempt to locate the missing vessel that resulted in the vessel being found submerged within Willapa Bay on Wednesday.

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River investigators are looking into the cause of the incident.

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