ASTORIA, Ore. -- The search was suspended Sunday for four missing fishermen off the Washington coast.
Crews found a debris field and an oil sheen several miles off the Washington coast Saturday after the emergency beacon from an Oregon-based fishing boat led rescuers to the debris field and a damaged lifeboat, the Coast Guard said.
The distress signal was activiated at 3:37 a.m. Saturday from the 62-foot fishing vessel Lady Cecelia, which has a home port in Warrenton, Ore. and is registered to Dale Kent of Bay City, Ore. He could not be reached Saturday, but the ship's owner told the Coast Guard that four people had been aboard.
The crew were identified as Dave Nickols, 42, of Warrenton; Chris Langel, 25, of Kaukauna, Wisc.; Luke Jensen, 19, of Ilwaco, Wash.; and Jason Bjaranson, 38, of Warrenton. The Lady Cecelia was registered in Oregon in 1991.
Bjaranson (pictured) is the brother of Portland Trail Blazers TV Host and former KGW sports reporter Adam Bjaranson.
The family issued a statement Sunday:
"We can't thank the USCG enough for their search and rescue efforts. Their response was unmatched. Our family received incredible support and prayers, and we can't possibly thank each of you enough. The entire fishing community has been hit hard by this tragedy. While we have come to grips with the loss of our beloved brother, father, son, and friend Jason, our thoughts are also with the other families that have been affected. You are in our prayers as well." -- The Bjaranson Family
When the vessel was first reported missing, Adam Bjranson tweeted "Please keep my brother Jay in your prayers. Is lost at sea with 3 crew members after boat went down overnight."
"The support through Facebook and Twitter has been great," he told KGW Saturday evening. "The outpouring has been wonderful, so we're just keeping our fingers crossed and hoping those prayers are answered."
The Coast Guard searched an area of more than 640 square miles Saturday, continued the search overnight and again at first light Sunday before calling off the search effort.