Alaska News

Search underway for missing fishing vessel in Bering Sea

Airplane and helicopter crews were expected to continue searching through Saturday night and into Sunday for a fishing vessel in the Bering Sea off St. George Island, a Coast Guard official said.

Six people were aboard the vessel, the 98-foot Destination, which is based in Seattle and often moors at Sand Point, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Steenson, U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Alaska. Sand Point is a community of about 975 people in the Aleutians East Borough.

The Coast Guard received an electronic alert from the vessel two miles northwest of Saint George on Saturday morning, the Coast Guard said.

The emergency beacon was recovered in a debris field with buoys, a life ring from the vessel, tarps and an oil sheen, Steenson wrote.

Residents in St. George on Saturday patrolled the shoreline for any signs of the crew or the vessel, the Coast Guard said.

An HC-130 Hercules crew arrived on the scene at 10:13 a.m. Saturday, and two MH-60 Jayhawk crews had joined the search by early Saturday afternoon. Two fishing vessels, Silver Spray and Bering Rose, were also helping with the search.

"We are saturating the area with Coast Guard and good Samaritan assets and hoping for the best," Chief Petty Officer Joshua Ryan, Coast Guard 17th District watchstander, said in the written statement.

Weather was reported as 30 mph winds and five- to eight-foot seas, with snow, Steenson wrote. The air temperature was 20 degrees and the sea temperature 30 degrees, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard cutter Morgenthau was en route and expected to arrive Sunday morning.

Laurel Andrews

Laurel Andrews was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Dispatch News and Alaska Dispatch. She left the ADN in October 2018.