Coast Guard Locates Missing Fisherman

 SEATTLE – The Coast Guard assisted a fisherman whose boat had run out of fuel near La Push, Wash., early today.

Coast Guard Station Port Angeles received a call at 2:30 a.m. that a fisherman from Olympia, Wash., left for a fishing trip Sunday at 9 a.m. aboard a 22-foot pleasure craft. The caller reported the man said he would be back at 5 p.m. Sunday but failed to return.

An HH-65 helicopter crew from Air Station Port Angeles located the vessel anchored seven miles offshore from La Push. The man was located safe aboard his vessel but without fuel, flares or a radio. A 47-foot motor life boat crew was launched from Coast Guard Station Quillayute River to tow the boat back to port. The man was issued a citation for missing flares which carries a maximum fine of $1,000.

“Boaters should make sure they have all mandatory safety equipment on board and in workable condition,” said Dan Shipman, Coast Guard Recreational Boating Safety Specialist. “It is also highly recommended that marine VHF radios be on board every vessel in order to contact rescuers in the event of an emergency. With the newly established Rescue 21 system operating in that area the vessel could have been rapidly located and assisted to port if a marine VHF radio had been aboard and used to contact the Coast Guard.”

Boaters are reminded to file a float plan with the Coast Guard or let family and friends know where they will be and for how long. A good description of the vessel or a photograph can also aid in locating boaters in distress.

Nearly three hours were spent locating the man costing taxpayers approximately $26,500.

“Situations like this are very avoidable and becoming an educated boater will only help you enjoy what boating has to offer,” said Shipman.

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