Coast Guard suspends search for person in water near Bainbridge Island, Wash.

WahooSEATTLE — The Coast Guard suspended its search for a 54-year-old man who went missing in Rich Passage near Bainbridge Island at 1:43 p.m., Tuesday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound received the initial report from Bainbridge Island Police Department around 6:30 p.m. Monday of a 15-foot unmanned adrift vessel.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Seattle arrived on scene and discovered multiple indications the vessel was being used, including a fishing pole and an open tackle box. The wife confirmed to the Coast Guard that his truck and trailer were still at the Port Orchard Marina boat ramp.

Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Wahoo, an 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat homeported in Port Angeles, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles, two 45-foot Response Boats-Medium from Station Seattle and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, Ore., searched over 400 miles for a combined 28 hours.

“The decision to suspend a search is never an easy one to make and is done with great care and deliberation,” said Lt. Cmdr. Darkeim Brown, search and rescue mission controller at Sector Puget Sound. “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the missing man.”

After a probable search area is saturated with maximum number of assets and crew effort, and the person is not located, the decision is made to suspend an active search, however the Coast Guard can resume an active search if credible information is received regarding the missing person’s whereabouts.

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