Warrenton, OR - There's speculation that a 70-foot trawler carrying four commercial fishermen sank off the Washington coast after being hit by a rogue wave. The Lady Cecelia disappeared off the Washington coast Saturday morning. The Coast Guard found only some debris, an oil sheen, crab pots and an empty life raft. The brother of one of the missing men says the Coast Guard raised the possibility of a rogue wave.
The Lady Cecelia departed from Warrenton, Oregon. After the vessel's Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon was activated at 3:37 Saturday morning, Coast Guard responders found a debris field approximately 17 miles west of Leadbetter Point near Willapa Bay, WA. A life raft was located near the debris field, but no one was on board.
The Coast Guard initially dispatched helicopters and multiple 47 foot lifeboats to search for survivors. A debris field was found near Willapa Bay with an oil slick, crab pots and an empty lifeboat, but no signs of the four crewmen. The Coast Guard added additional helicopters and a C-130 search plane to aid the search effort. The cutter Cuttyhunk was launched but was recalled when the search effort was suspended the next day. The Coast Guard called off the search after covering some 1,300 square miles.