Coast Guard Suspends Search for Big Valley Crewmen
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
After searching more than 1,700 square miles, the Coast Guard suspended its search for three individuals from the fishing vessel Big Valley late Monday night. The Big Valley sank Saturday morning casting the six crewmen into the frigid Bering Sea 70 miles west of St. Paul Island.
The joint search operation included searches by the Alaska State Trooper (AST) vessel Stimson, Good Samaritans, a Coast Guard C-130 airplane crew, the Coast Guard cutter Sherman with an embarked Dolphin helicopter and a Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter crew.
Searchers aboard the Jayhawk aircraft recovered Cache Seel, a Kodiak resident, the only survivor of the incident the same morning. They also recovered a deceased crewman later in the day. The AST vessel Stimson's crew recovered one additional deceased crewman. The other three crewmen from the 92-foot crab boat remain missing.
Cache Seel returned to his family in Kodiak Sunday after a visit to the St. Paul clinic. Seel was in good condition.
Coast Guard personnel are investigating the incident.