Missing solo sailor’s boat found near Ocean Shores

A boat belonging to a missing Canadian man was found Thursday off the coast of Ocean Shores, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.

A boatcrew from the Westport station spotted the 16-foot, non-motorized boat about five miles northwest of Ocean Shores Thursday morning. Paul Clark, a 69-year-old who left Prince Rupert, British Columbia earlier this month on a solo sailing trip to Port Hardy, B.C., has been missing for about three weeks.

“Clark was reported missing July 11 after he failed to check in with a family member,” Petty Officer 3rd Class Katelyn Shearer said. “He was last seen in the vicinity of Aristazabal Island, British Columbia, about halfway to his intended destination.”

The fishing vessel Tally Ho saw the capsized boat and reported it to watchstanders at Station Grays Harbor at about 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

Crewmembers immediately launched a 47-foot Motor Life Boat, and Sector Columbia River sent a Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Astoria and diverted the crew of the Cutter Blue Shark, an 87-foot patrol boat from Everett, to assist. A state Department of Fish and Wildlife crew also came to help.

The life boat crews and the Blue Shark arrived at about 8:30 a.m. to find all the oars and sails secured, with Clark’s identification on board.

Boat and air crews searched the area for about three hours and found no signs of distress. The search was suspended pending further information.

“Coast Guard officials notified Joint Rescue Coordination Center Victoria, British Columbia, and are coordinating the transfer of the vessel to Canadian officials,” Shearer said.


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