Coast Guard searches for 4 missing off Washington coast

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 11, 2012 12:48 AM

(Reuters) - The Coast Guard is searching for four people missing in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Washington state, after a fishing vessel sent a distress signal early on Saturday.

The Coast Guard said in a statement that personnel in Astoria responded to an emergency signal from the 62-foot fishing vessel Lady Cecelia before dawn.

A helicopter and two motor lifeboat crews were dispatched to the scene and discovered a debris field approximately 17 miles west of Leadbetter Point near Willapa Bay.

Since then, several other vessels and aircraft have joined a search for the missing crew members.

(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Greg McCune)