Coast Guard suspends search for overboard fisherman in Bering Sea

Devin Kelly

The Coast Guard late Wednesday suspended a search for a fisherman who reportedly fell overboard in the Bering Sea.

Crews scoured 64 square miles of water for 10 hours before calling off the search, the Coast Guard said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the missing man," said Chief Petty Officer Chris Cole, a 17th District command center watchstander, in a statement. "The decision to end a search is one of the most difficult choices to make as a search-and-rescue controller."

At 7:40 a.m. Wednesday, someone aboard the Seafreeze Alaska processing ship reported that a crew member of the 87-foot fishing boat Seeker, based in Newport, Ore., had fallen overboard 10 miles north of Unimak Island.

A Jayhawk helicopter crew conducted two searches but did not find the missing fisherman, who has not been identified.

Poor weather and choppy waters complicated the search, the Coast Guard said. Winds were blowing at 35 mph as waves rose to between 8 and 10 feet.

Reach Devin Kelly at or 257-4314.