At 3 am on May 3, 2015, the Coast Guard received a May Day call from Kenneth Martin, Master of the 52-foot F/V SEA BEAST. Martin told them that the stern was taking on water and the boat was sinking approximately 14 miles offshore of La Push, WA. Three crewmen successfully abandoned ship into a life raft, but the SEA BEAST reportedly capsized with Martin still onboard.
The Coast Guard found and rescued the three men in the life raft and took them to Station Quillayute River in La Push. Coast Guard helicopter crews and motor lifeboat crews searched over 498 square miles looking for Martin, but they finally suspended the search after 17 hours, said Petty Officer Jonathan Klingenberg, spokesman for the Seattle Coast Guard.
“One of the hardest decisions the Coast Guard has to make is when to suspend a search for a missing person,” said Cmdr. Brian Meier, of the Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound response division. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the friends, family and loved ones of the vessel captain.”
Kenneth Martin was a member of the Makah Tribe. Our deepest condolences also go out to his family and friends.
The F/V SEA BEAST, built in 1974, homeported in Neah Bay. It was a red and white live-hold boat which keeps fish and crab alive in an aerated tank in the hold.
The Coast Guard notified NOAA of the sinking of the SEA BEAST in the Olympic National Marine Sanctuary, with a potential of 500 gallons of diesel on board. No pollution has been reported at this time. The vessel sank in 400 feet of water and is not considered a threat to navigation.
Weather on scene at the time of the sinking was reportedly 5 to 10 mph winds and 4-foot seas.