(photograph courtesy of the United States Coast Guard)
Early Sunday morning, the Coast Guard called off the search for the skipper of the WHITE SWAN III, a 32-foot fishing vessel that sank about 35 miles offshore of Florence, Oregon. One other crewmember was rescued by the Coast Guard but was unresponsive and later pronounced dead. The cause of the sinking remains under investigation.
The Coast Guard first received a distress call from the vessel shortly after midnight on Saturday, March 26. The WHITE SWAN’s master reported that the vessel was taking on water and sinking in the northern section of the Heceta Banks fishery. Upon receiving the mayday call, the Coast Guard activated a rescue operation and deployed a 47-foot motor lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River. Several Coast Guard aircraft, additional motor lifeboat crews, and the Coast Guard Cutter Orcas joined the search shortly thereafter.