Coast Guard suspends search for crab fisherman that fell into the Bering Sea

JUNEAU, Alaska – The Coast Guard suspended its search Wednesday at 11:49 a.m. for Keith Criner, 43, resident of Stockton, Calif., after he became tangled in a crab pot line and fell from the 98-foot fishing vessel Seabrooke approximately 22 miles northwest of Cold Bay, Alaska, at 9:50 a.m. Tuesday.

Two Coast Guard rescue helicopters forward deployed in Cold Bay and a C-130 from Air Station Kodiak were on scene around 11 a.m. Tuesday and searched throughout the day for a total search area of 107 square miles. The aircraft returned to Cold Bay and Kodiak during the night. A MH-60 Jayhawk returned to the search area at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday and covered approximately 25 square miles of ocean.

“The aircraft conducted 11 different searches encompassing 132 square miles, but unfortunately did not locate the fisherman,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Lee Goldsmith, operational unit controller for the Seventeenth Coast Guard District Command Center. “Suspending a search is one of the most difficult calls that we have to make. Our sincere condolences are sent to his family and friends”

The Seabrooke was fishing for Tanner crab in the Bering Sea at the time of the incident not Opilio crab as previously reported.

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