LA PUSH, Wash. -- The U.S. Coast Guard rescued three people from a sinking 52-foot fishing vessel, but officials were searching for the ship's captain who remained missing Sunday.
Officials said the vessel reportedly took on water, capsized and sank 14 miles offshore of Quillayute River, Washington.
“The Coast Guard is actively searching for the master of the Sea Beast near Quillayute River and anyone in the area with information about the case is asked to call the Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound command center on VHF-FM radio Channel 16 or at 206-217-6001,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Morales, an operations specialist at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound. “Fortunately the other three crewmembers were able to safely abandon ship and have been recovered in good condition.”
Watch standers at the Coast Guard received the mayday call from the Sea Beast at 3:00 a.m. The crew was advised to abandon ship and get into a life raft.
Officials launched a helicopter and a boat crew to rescue the stranded fishermen. The boat crew located the three men in the life raft and transported them safely to the pier in Quillayute River.
The ship, which can carry up to 1,000 gallons of diesel in its tanks, sank in the Olympic Marine Sanctuary. The Washington Department Ecology has been notified, but the vessel is not reported to be a hazard at this time.
AUDIO of the mayday call: "We are sinking, we are sinking right now."