Coast Guard ‘hoping for the best’ in search for missing fishing vessel

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JUNEAU, Alaska — The U.S. Coast Guard is searching an area about two miles northwest of St. George, Alaska where a fishing vessel sent out a distress call Saturday morning.

The Coast Guard 17th District watchstanders in Juneau received the alert from fishing vessel Destination.

Upon arriving, 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,” said Chief Petty Officer Joshua Ryan, Coast Guard 17th District watchstander.

The HC-130 Hercules crew, two MH-60 Jayhawk crews, two good Samaritan vessels, fishing vessels Silver Spray and Bering Rose, and the citizens in St. George, are searching for any signs of the crew or vessel.

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau, a 378-foot high endurance cutter homeported in Honolulu, Hawaii, is en route from Dutch Harbor to assist. An Air Station Kodiak MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew currently deployed on the cutter will also be deployed to assist with the search. They are expected to arrive early Sunday morning.

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

Weather near St. George is reported as 30-mph winds, five to eight-foot seas and snowing. Air temperature is 20 degrees and sea temperature is 30 degrees.

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