Coast Guard suspends searches for missing man west of Port Angeles

Mariner identified

SEATTLE —The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a mariner reported missing near Port Angeles.

He has been identified as Patrick O’Brien, 75.

The Coast Guard saturated an area of about 164 square miles, completing 20 searches over more than 21 hours. The search was suspended at 4 p.m Friday.

O’Brien was supposed to be fishing near his friends in a separate boat on a trip from Freshwater Bay to Crescent Bay Buoy 2 and back to Freshwater Bay, the Coast Guard said.

The mariner’s friends last talked to him via cell phone at 3:26 p.m. and about 10 minutes later saw him about a half mile west of the Crescent Bay Buoy 2 traveling on his kicker motor westward.

The reporting party then lost sight of him and said that the overdue mariner’s main engine was not working earlier in the day and he had been using his kicker to maneuver.

He also reportedly had a large amount of fishing gear and other general items on his vessel.

O’Brien had no reported medical problems and was reported by his wife to most likely have had food and water onboard as well as life jackets, the Coast Guard had said earlier. There were reportedly no VHF radios on board the boats of both the missing man and his friend.

Multiple partner agencies and a rotation of Coast Guard crews participated in extensive coordinated search operations.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound command center were notified at 6:48 p.m. Thursday.

An urgent marine information broadcast was issued as an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Port Angeles, and a Coast Guard Station Port Angeles 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew deployed and arrived on scene at 7:30 p.m.

Also involved in the search were Coast Guard cutter Swordfish and crew, Canadian Coast Guard Ship Vector and crew and the U.S. Naval Station Whidbey Island MH-60 Seahawk crew

“We extend our appreciation to the U.S. Navy and Canadian Coast Guard who volunteered to assist in the large search effort. The decision to suspend a Search is never one we come to lightly,” said Scott Giard, the District 13 Search and Rescue program manager.

“Our crews searched continuously for over 21 hours over the past two days with the hopes of bringing the missing boater home to their loved ones.

“Our greatest sympathies go out to the boater’s family at this time.”

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