Coast Guard IDs drowned fisherman

by george kunke

Coast Guard IDs drowned fisherman



The Coast Guard has identified the missing Quinault Indian Nation fisherman who fell overboard into the ocean early Wednesday morning (1:30 a.m.) from the commercial fishing boat, Senja, about eight miles northwest of the Queets River. The missing fisherman is John Salas, 56, of Bay Center. His boat was based in Westport.

A Coast Guard spokesperson said Salas was setting crab pots when he fell into the water, according to statements from other crewmembers. Salas was not wearing a life jacket at the time.

The Coast Guard suspended the active search Thursday for a fisherman that fell overboard from a commercial fishing vessel approximately eight miles northwest of the Queets River, Wash., Wednesday.

Rescue crews launched from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, Ore., aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and Small Boat Station Grays Harbor, in Westport, aboard a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat, and other commercial fishing vessels in the area, covering more than 91 square miles during a period of more than seven hours.

Current weather conditions in the search area included six-foot waves and five-knot winds, with a water temperature of 48 degrees, Fahrenheit.

The Coast Guard suspends a case with great care and deliberation. Only after a probable search area is saturated with a maximum number of assets, resources and crew efforts, and persons in distress are not located; the decision is made to suspend a case.

The Coast Guard can resume a search if credible information is received that the persons reported missing have survived.

The Coast Guard recommends that mariners wear lifejackets at all times while on the water. It is much easier to have a lifejacket on than try to don one during an emergency.