Coast Guard suspends search for missing fisherman off Southwest Pass

Coast Guard District 8 NewsNEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard suspended its search for a missing fisherman, Thursday, offshore Southwest Pass in East Bay.

Missing is Mark Hansel.

Coast Guard crews searched for 50 hours, covering 1,181 square nautical miles, in an effort to locate Hansel.

Crews and aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans, Coast Guard Station Venice and the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Sturgeon assisted in the search.

“We saturated an area the size of Rhode Island with both aircraft and boats to thoroughly cover the search area. Unfortunately, we did not locate Mr. Hansel and have suspended the search,” said Capt. John Arenstam, deputy commander for Coast Guard Sector New Orleans. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

At approximately 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a call via VHF-FM radio from the captain of the fishing vessel, Ireland, that a crewmember had fallen overboard and was not wearing a life jacket.

The search is suspended pending further developments.

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