At 3:37 a.m. March 10, the Coast Guard near Astoria, Oregon, received an EPIRB from F/V LADY CECELIA, which led to the discovery of a field of debris and an inflated but empty life raft approximately 17 miles west of Leadbetter Point. The life raft and EPIRB are believed to have both activated automatically on contact with water. The Coast Guard has no record of a radio distress call from LADY CECELIA, and the vessel is said to have carried survival suits, so it’s thought that whatever happened, happened before the men had time to react.
The Coast Guard launched an extensive search over an area of more than 640 square miles with two helicopters, a cutter, two motor lifeboats, and a search plane, before ending the search for LADY CECELIA and her crew at 9:44 a.m. on Sunday. Weather conditions at the time were not stormy with moderate, slow-moving waves, with a water temperature of 43 degrees.