Search for missing fisherman suspended near Whidbey Island

COUPEVILLE — The Coast Guard on Monday suspended its search for a missing fisherman whose empty boat was found near Whidbey Island on Sunday.

The search involved boats and a helicopter from the Coast Guard, Swinomish Tribal Fisheries, fire and rescue workers from Whidbey Island and Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department dive teams.

They scoured the waters at Penn Cove for 21 hours after the man’s boat was found empty with its motor running on Sunday afternoon.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Port Angeles and two small boat crews from Seattle were sent to look for the man whose name, age and hometown were not released.

A Swinomish fisheries patrol vessel crew spotted the 32-foot bowpicker fishing vessel turning circles with no crew aboard at 2:35 p.m. Sunday. The vessel was registered as a Swinomish tribal boat and witnesses claimed to have seen one person aboard at 12:30 p.m.

The marine rescue team from Snohomish County conducted four dives in the area near the vessel and its crab pots.

The search was suspended at 10:45 a.m. Monday.

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