Good Samaritans aboard the Canadian fishing vessel Ocean Sunset approach the life raft. (Photo provided by U.S. Coast Guard)

Good Samaritans aboard the Canadian fishing vessel Ocean Sunset approach the life raft. (Photo provided by U.S. Coast Guard)

Man rescued off Vancouver Island after two weeks on life raft

Coast Guard investigates sinking, whereabouts of companion

PORT ANGELES — One of two people aboard the 43-foot fishing vessel Evening that left Westport Marina on Oct. 12 was found alive Thursday morning by Good Samaritans after some two weeks on a life raft.

The life raft was found 45 miles west of Tofino on Vancouver Island and then transported to shore by the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Cape Ann.

The unidentified man was taken to a Tofino hospital. His condition was not available.

The whereabouts of his companion were unknown on Friday.

The Good Samaritans, who were aboard the Canadian fishing vessel Ocean Sunset, spotted the conical orange life raft drifting far offshore of Torfino, pulled him into their fishing boat and eventually retrieved the life raft as well, said Petty Officer 2nd Class Steve Strohmaier, U.S. Coast Guard public affairs specialist.

The man told his rescuers that he caught a salmon to eat but the U.S. Coast Guard hasn’t been able to confirm that, he said.

“We’re still trying to figure out what happened to the fishing boat,” Strohmaier said. “That’s part of the investigation. We are working with him to figure it out.

“Hopefully, we’ll get some sort of good outcome,” he continued. “We are working with our partners here and up there.”

The life raft was found 45 miles west of Tofino on Vancouver Island. (graphic provided by U.S. Coast Guard)

The life raft was found 45 miles west of Tofino on Vancouver Island. (graphic provided by U.S. Coast Guard)

Strohmaier said the life raft was spotted by the Good Samaritans at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

The boat had been due back Oct. 15. The daughter of one of the men, who was from out of state, reported him missing on Sunday and the U.S. Coast Guard began searching for the vessel. The Coast Guard called off the search around sunset, about 7 p.m. Wednesday, due to life and safety concerns, Strohmaier said.

“The biggest concern is the safety of our crew,” he said. “We had no idea where they were. The initial search area stretched in a sort of elongated triangle from Newport (Oregon) to Torfino (Vancouver Island), which actually is where he ended up being found.”

Strohmaier said two flight crews came down from Alaska and searched an area of almost 14,000 square miles for eight hours using C-130s. Those have a larger range than Coast Guard helicopters, including infrared capabilities, plus VHF radio to communicate with distressed mariners, he said.

________

Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at brian.gawley@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in News

John Brewer.
Former editor and publisher of PDN dies

John Brewer, 76, was instrumental in community

Randy Perry and Judy Reandeau Stipe, volunteer executive director of Sequim Museum & Arts, hold aloft a banner from "The Boys in the Boat" film Perry purchased and is loaning to the museum. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
‘Boys in the Boat’ banner to be loaned to museum

Sequim man purchases item shown in film at auction

Charisse Deschenes, first hired by the city of Sequim in 2014, departed this week after 10 years in various roles, including most recently deputy city manager/community and economic development director. (City of Sequim)
Deputy manager leaves Sequim

Community, economic development position open

Hoko River project seeks salmon recovery and habitat restoration

Salmon coaltion takes lead in collaboration with Makah, Lower Elwha tribes

Clallam Transit’s zero-fare program off to successful start

Ridership is up and problems are down, general manager says

Motor rider airlifted to Seattle hospital after wreck

A Gig Harbor man was airlifted to a Seattle hospital… Continue reading

Traffic light project to begin Monday

Work crews from Titan Earthwork, LLC will begin a… Continue reading

From left to right are Indigo Gould, Hazel Windstorm, Eli Hill, Stuart Dow, Mateu Yearian and Hugh Wentzel.
Port Townsend Knowledge Bowl team wins consecutive state championships

The Knowledge Bowl team from Port Townsend High School has… Continue reading

Bob Edgington of 2 Grade LLC excavating, which donated its resources, pulls dirt from around the base of an orca sculpture at the Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield on Thursday during site preparation to rebuild the Port Angeles play facility, which was partially destroyed by an arson fire on Dec. 20. A community build for the replacement playground is scheduled for May 15-19 with numerous volunteer slots available. Signups are available at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084DA4AC23A5F85-47934048-dream#/. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Site preparation at Dream Playground

Bob Edgington of 2 Grade LLC excavating, which donated its resources, pulls… Continue reading

Rayonier Inc. is selling more than 115,000 acres in four units across the West Olympic Peninsula last week as the company looks to sell $1 billion worth of assets. (Courtesy photo / Rayonier Inc.)
Rayonier to sell West End timberland

Plans call for debt restructuring; bids due in June