Coast Guard continues search for missing vessel; loved ones ‘hoping against hope’

JUNEAU, Alaska — The U.S. Coast Guard continues to search for the crew of fishing vessel Destination. A distress call went out Saturday morning about two miles northwest of St. George, Alaska.

The Coast Guard, along with two helicopters and two good Samaritan vessels, searched all day Saturday and through the night for the vessel.

Six families are holding vigil, hoping to hear their loved ones aboard the Destination will be found.

“Everybody is still pretty much in shock right now, we’re all hoping against hope,” said Jack Molan, a retired Bering Sea fisherman. “Everybody pretty much knows everybody up there. It’s a pretty tight bunch.”

Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau arrived at the scene Sunday morning along with the MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew on the cutter.

Citizens of St. George are patrolling the shoreline for any signs of the crew or vessel.

“People should pray and hope that these guys get found,” said Molin, still holding out hope of a rescue.

Upon arriving Saturday morning, search crews recovered the emergency position-indicating radio beacon or (EPIRB) among a debris field containing buoys, a life ring, and an oil sheen.

“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 Saturday.

“You work with all these guys and then once in a while you lose somebody,” said Molin, “it’s always a shock and we always take a pause. I don’t think anyone ever asks what we’re doing up here, we just try to minimize this ever happening again.”

Port of Seattle spokesman Brian DeRoy confirms that Destination was docked in Seattle last summer.

Weather on scene is reported as 25-mph winds, two to four-foot seas, air temperature of 21 degrees, sea temperature of 38 degrees and light snow.