Coast Guard searches for missing boater on Oregon coast

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Sector North Bend

Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter file photo

BROOKINGS, Ore. — The Coast Guard is searching for a 59-year-old man reported missing in the waters in the vicinity of Chetco River.

Missing is Dan VanCleave, who was reported overdue Tuesday night by his wife after he failed to return home before sunset.

The 13th Coast Guard District Command Center in Seattle conducted a forensics investigation, and VanCleave’s cellphone company produced the phone’s location on land in Brookings, with a 2000-foot radius area of uncertainty that includes the beaches and ocean.


At 7:10 p.m. members of Coast Guard Station Chetco River conducted a land-based search of beach areas within the cell phone range and launched illumination flares.

At 7:40 p.m. Coast Guard Sector North Bend launched an aircrew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter to search above the marine layer to possibly draw a flare and a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Station Chetco River searched outside the Chetco River entrance.

At 8 p.m. VanCleave’s truck and trailer was located at the Brookings Boat Basin.

Coast Guard members reviewed the day’s footage from the bar-tower camera to determine if or when VanCleave’s vessel departed the harbor.

At 10 p.m. the aircrew located an unlit boat 1.7 miles south of the Chetco River Jetty.

The MLB crew arrived on scene and confirmed that the 16-foot vessel, which was found with the engine idling in the down position, was registered to VanCleave. His cellphone and other personal items were found however the boat was unattended.

The crew towed the boat into Brookings and then continued with the search effort through the night.

Aircrews from Sector North Bend and boatcrews from Station Chetco River continue to search the area Wednesday morning.

The air temperature was reported at 48 degrees with a water temperature of 50 degrees. Visibility was 200 yards.


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