Coast Guard recovers boat of missing Canadian off Washington coast

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SEATTLE — A boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor in Westport, Washington, recovered an unmanned boat about five miles northwest of Ocean Shores, Washington, Thursday.

The 16-foot non-motorized boat is believed to be that of Paul Clark, a 69-year-old Canadian citizen who left Prince Rupert, British Columbia, earlier this month on a solo sailing trip to Port Hardy, British Columbia.

Clark was reported missing July 11 after he failed to check in with a family member. He was last seen in the vicinity of Aristazabal Island, British Columbia, about halfway to his intended destination.

The fishing vessel Tally Ho came across the capsized vessel and reported it to watchstanders at Station Grays Harbor around 7:30 a.m. Station crewmembers launched a 47-foot Motor Life Boat in response.

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River watchstanders in Warrenton, Oregon, launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, Oregon, and diverted the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Blue Shark, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Everett, Washington, to assist. A Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife crew also responded.

The crews of the MLB and Blue Shark arrived on scene around 8:30 a.m. They overturned the vessel and found all oars and sails secured. Crewmembers found the identification of Paul Clark in the vessel.

Coast Guard boat and air crews searched the area for approximately three hours and found no signs of distress. The search was subsequently suspended pending any further information.

Coast Guard officials notified Joint Rescue Coordination Center Victoria, British Columbia, and are coordinating the transfer of the vessel to Canadian officials.

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