Coast Guard suspends search for fisherman fallen overboard off Grays Harbor, WA

A boatcrew aboard a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat from Station Grays Harbor transits toward waters off Westport, Washington  File photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Clark

A boatcrew aboard a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat from Station Grays Harbor transits toward waters off Westport, Washington.  File photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Clark

GRAYS HARBOR, Wash. — The Coast Guard suspended the search Friday for a 47-year-old man who reportedly fell overboard while underway fishing for halibut 28 miles northwest of Grays Harbor.

Missing is Jason LaBrie of Oregon City, Oregon.

Fishermen aboard the 26-foot fishing vessel Defiance II activated an emergency position indicating radio beacon after realizing LaBrie was missing.

Coast Guard watchstanders at the 13th District command center received the alarm at 12:39 p.m. and contacted the vessel crew by telephone to gather more information.

At 12:50 p.m., the Coast Guard initiated an urgent marine information radio broadcast notifying all mariners in the area. A Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew responded, and a Sector Columbia River MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew diverted from other flight operations. At 1:10 p.m., Coast Guard search and rescue crews were on scene.

A Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento HC-27 Spartan airplane crew was airborne and en route, and the Coast Guard Cutter Elm and crew diverted from a living marine resources mission at approximately 3:30 p.m. to assist with the search.

The Coast Guard saturated an area of approximately 244 square miles, completing 18 searches over more than 22 hours.

Units involved in the search:

  • Coast Guard Sector Columbia River watchstanders
  • Coast Guard Air Station Astoria MH-60 Jayhawk crews
  • Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crews
  • Coast Guard Cutter Elm and crew
  • Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento HC-27 Spartan crew

“The decision to suspend a search is one of the most difficult decisions we have to make,” said Capt. Nathan Coulter, 13th Coast Guard District, chief of incident management. “We offer our deepest sympathies to the family of Jason LaBrie in this difficult time.”

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