Crabbing boat sinks near Willapa Bay off Washington coast

Crews searched through the night for a missing crew member after the 46-foot crab boat sank.

LONG BEACH, Wash. — A man is missing after a crab boat sank near the entrance to Willapa Bay on Sunday night.

A U.S. Coast Guard crew from Astoria Air Force Station in Oregon rescued two other men aboard the 46-foot ship Ethel May.

Willapa Bay is located on the southwest coast of Washington in between the Long Beach Peninsula and the mainland.

The wife of one of the men on the train called 911 on Sunday to say there was an emergency on board. At about 7:30 p.m., the Coast Guard sentinels in Seattle received an emergency message indicating a radio signal was transmitted from the boat.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Astoria and Coast Guard rescue crews from Port Grays responded to help. The agency said the crew towed two of the sailors from their life rafts to safety at 8:10 p.m. local time.

The two survivors were taken to Willapa Harbor Hospital in South Bend, Wash. to be assessed for hypothermia.

The crew and crew searched for the ship’s third passenger throughout the night. The Coast Guard stopped the search after more than 15 hours on Monday night. They said the crews covered a 290 square mile area from the air, at sea and ashore.

Searchers have found debris in Willapa Bay and in the Pacific Ocean indicating the ship was broken, according to the Coast Guard.

Coast Guard teams from Astoria, Grays Harbor and the North Bend and Columbia River areas are participating in the search, along with the Washington Fish and Wildlife Service.

This is an evolving story. Check back for updates.

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