Coast Guard suspends search for missing man off Florence, OR

Coast Guard Cutter Orcas file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nate Littlejohn

Coast Guard Cutter Orcas file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nate Littlejohn

NORTH BEND, Ore. -The Coast Guard suspended search efforts Sunday for the master of a 32-foot fishing vessel that sank approximately 35 miles offshore Florence late Friday night.

The missing man has been identified as Mike Morgan, 68.

A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River was the first to respond on scene, followed by multiple Coast Guard aircraft, Motor Lifeboat stations, including the 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Orcas and crew. Rescue crews saturated approximately 232 square-miles of search area over a 24-hour period but were unable to locate Morgan.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend received a mayday call around midnight on Friday from Morgan, the master of fishing vessel White Swan III, reporting that his vessel was sinking in the northern section of Heceta Banks fishing grounds. A Motor Lifeboat crew from Station Siuslaw River arrived on scene shortly after the initial distress call and located a debris field. The Coast Guard recovered an unresponsive female victim early Saturday morning, later discovered to be a crew member aboard the White Swan III. The female victim was pronounced deceased by local emergency crews.

Involved in the search were:

  • Coast Guard Sector North Bend;
  • Coast Guard Sector Columbia River MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews;
  • Air Facility Newport MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew;
  • Sector North Bend MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crews;
  • Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crews;
  • Coast Guard Station Umpqua River 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew;
  • 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Orcas;
  • 13th Coast Guard District Command Center.

Pending further developments, the Coast Guard has suspended search efforts at this time.

“The decision to suspend an active search and rescue case is never easy, and it’s only made after careful consideration of myriad factors,” said Scott Giard, Coast Guard Search and Rescue Program Manager. “Our thoughts and condolences are with the families throughout this unimaginably challenging time.”

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