Disappearance of Seattle-based crab boat, crew a ‘mystery’

One of the missing boat’s crew members was identified Monday as Larry O’Grady, 55, of Poulsbo, who worked as an engineer aboard the Destination. His niece said fishing “was his life.”

The six-member crew of the Seattle-based crab boat F/V Destination had yet to begin their snow-crab harvest when the vessel disappeared Saturday morning amid chilly winter temperatures in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska.

Michael Barcott, an attorney representing the owners of the vessel, said the crew still had all their gear on board, including the steel pots used to trap crab, when something went wrong.

“We can tell you precious little now,” Barcott said Monday. “We don’t want to speculate. … Our thoughts and our prayers are with the (crew’s families). This is a call that no fishing family wants to get.”

[Related: ‘These boys loved what they did’: Bering Sea fisherman talks about lost boat, lost brother]

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The Coast Guard suspended the search for the crew Monday afternoon, according to a news release late Monday.

In a statement late Monday, Barcott said the boat’s owners were grateful to the Coast Guard, good samaritan ships and residents of St. George Island who aided in the search.

“These men were professionals,” he said. “Our hearts are broken for their loved ones who are now left with the certainty of this tragic sinking.”

The missing 98½-foot crab boat sent out an emergency locator-beacon signal around 6:15 a.m. Saturday, Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Brian Dykens said. The beacons are designed to be automatically activated when a vessel goes down, providing a location for searchers.

The beacon went off about two miles northwest of St. George Island in the Pribilofs, a group of four islands about 200 miles north of Unalaska, Alaska.

A Coast Guard search has turned up the Destination’s locator EPIRB — Emergency Position Indication…

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