The Latest: Owners of missing crab boat are heartbroken

AP News
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Posted: Feb 14, 2017 1:00 AM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on a crab boat missing in the Bering Sea (all times local):

9 p.m.

The owners of the 98-foot crab boat with six people on board missing off a remote Alaska island say they are heartbroken over the loss.

The Coast Guard released a statement Monday night saying they have suspended the search for the Destination in the Bering Sea. The Coast Guard received an emergency positioning signal Saturday from the Destination northwest of St. George. Searchers found the signal device and buoys in a debris field, but no signs of its six crew members.

A spokesman for the owners, Mike Barcott, said in an email that they are grateful for all the people who worked to try and find the crew.

Barcott says the owners will work with the Coast Guard to learn what they can to help prevent such an event from happening again.

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7:45 p.m.

The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a 98-foot crab boat with six people on board missing off a remote Alaska island in the Bering Sea.

The Coast Guard received an emergency positioning signal Saturday from the Destination northwest of St. George. Searchers found the signal device and buoys in a debris field, but no signs of its six crew members.

The watchstanders at the 17th District Command Center in Juneau coordinated 21 searches, covering approximately 5,730 square nautical miles, before calling off the search Monday.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

St. George is 650 miles west of Kodiak.

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11:30 a.m.

A Coast Guard officer on a high-endurance cutter says Bering Sea fishing vessels at this time of year face hazards from large waves to icing that can upset a boat's balance.

Lt. Brenden Kelley is operations officer and navigator on the 378-foot cutter Monroe.

A sister vessel, the cutter Morgenthau (MOHR-gen-thaw), is searching for a 98-foot crab boat, the Destination.

The Coast Guard received an emergency positioning signal Saturday from the Destination. Searchers found the signal device and buoys in a debris field, but no signs of its six crew members.

Kelley says by phone from Kodiak that weather is the biggest hazard at this time of year.

He says mariners pay close attention to wind and waves and can use sophisticated tools to determine how much ice may be accumulating on their boats.

Ice can make the vessels top-heavy.

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10 a.m.

A C-130 transport plane is rejoining the search for a 98-foot crab boat with six people on board missing off a remote Alaska island in the Bering Sea.

Speaking from Kodiak, Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Steenson said Monday the aircraft could reach the scene near the island of St. George after a flight of about two and a half hours.

She also said the cutter Morgenthau (MOHR-gen-thaw) was continuing its search.

The Coast Guard received an emergency electronic signal on Saturday from the Destination. Searchers spotted a debris field containing buoys, life ring and oil sheen.

St. George is 650 miles west of Kodiak.