NORTH BEND, Ore. — The Coast Guard is searching for the master of a 32-foot fishing vessel that sank Saturday morning approximately 35 miles offshore Florence.
Missing is Mike Morgan, 68.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend received a mayday call at approximately 12 a.m. Saturday from Morgan, the master of the white-and-black fishing vessel White Swan III, reporting that his vessel was sinking in the north end of the Heceta Banks fishing area. Morgan reported that a female crew member was also aboard the vessel. The 13th Coast Guard District Command Center received an emergency position indicating radio beacon alert from the White Swan III.
Upon arrival at the scene of the EPIRB location, an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew from Air Facility Newport spotted a debris field and a life raft. The aircrew had to return to base due to heavy fog and low visibility.
Crews aboard the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Orcas, a Sector North Bend MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew, and a Coast Guard Station Umpqua River 47-foot Motor Lifeboat are currently saturating an approximately 21 square-mile area offshore Florence to locate Morgan.
Involved in the search are:
Sector North Bend;
Air Facility Newport MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew;
Sector North Bend MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crews;
Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crews;
Coast Guard Station Umpqua River 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew;
87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Orcas and crew.
Mariners and the public are encouraged to contact the Sector North Bend Command Center at 541-756-9210 if anyone has information in the effort to locate the missing master of the White Swan III.