Coast Guard suspends search for missing boater near Tacoma, Wash.

Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter file photo

Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopterfile photo

SEATTLE — The Coast Guard suspended the active search for a missing boater near Tacoma, Sunday at 1 p.m.

Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Swordfish, an 87-foot Patrol Boat homeported in Port Angeles, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Port Angeles and a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Station Seattle searched an area of about 35 square miles for more than 14 hours.

“Suspending a search is a very difficult decision to make and is done with great care and deliberation,” said Lt. John Mckenzie, a search and rescue controller at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound. “Our thoughts are with the family of the missing man at this time.”

Watchstanders at Sector Puget Sound were notified by Pierce County 911 operators of an alcohol-related collision between two boats that resulted in four people in the water at 11 p.m., Saturday.

After a probable search area is saturated with maximum number of assets and crew effort, and the person is not located, the decision is made to suspend an active search, however the Coast Guard can resume an active search if credible information is received regarding the missing person’s whereabouts.

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