Coast Guard suspends search for 5 missing after crab fishing boat sinks near Kodiak
The U.S. Coast Guard has ceased its search for five people missing in the water after their boat sank near Sutwik Island.
In a release just before 11 a.m. Wednesday, the Coast Guard says two people were rescued, but five crew members were still missing.
"After exhausting all leads and careful consideration of survival probability, the Coast Guard suspends an active search pending new information or developments," a Wednesday night statement reads.
The boat is a 130-foot crab fishing boat called Scandies Rose; it was last known to be about 170 miles southwest of Air Station Kodiak. A mayday call came in about 10 p.m. Tuesday, the Coast Guard said.
In its release late Wednesday, the Coast Guard announced it was suspending the search after more than 20 hours and scanning 1,400 square miles with planes, helicopters and the Coast Guard Cutter Mellon, which was diverted from the Bering Sea to assist with the search effort.
According to the Coast Guard, there were winds in excess of 40 mph, 15- to 20-foot seas and 1 mile visibility at the scene.
"The decision to suspend an active search and rescue case is never easy, and it's only made after careful consideration of a myriad of factors," stated Rear Adm. Matthew Bell, 17th District commander. "Our deepest condolences to the friends and families impacted by this tragedy."
Helicopter and airplane crews launched from Kodiak to search for the group.
One helicopter crew found the two survivors and hoisted them from a life raft Tuesday night, according to Coast Guard Public Affairs Petty Officer Melissa McKenzie. The pair is in stable condition at a Kodiak hospital.
"When our two air crews arrived on scene last night, the Jayhawk helicopter crew found two life rafts. Once actually had two survivors. They were able to hoist the two survivors from that life raft. And then a second life raft was empty," McKenzie said over the phone.
The search for the missing was suspended at 6:08 p.m. on New Year's Day.
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