Coast Guard plucks three people from ocean, one presumed dead

NEAR NEWPORT, Ore. - Coast Guard crews in a boat and a helicopter pulled three people from the Pacific Ocean near Newport early Tuesday morning.

They could not find a fourth crew member and think that he drowned.

The four were out crabbing when something happened to their boat, the 42-foot Sound Leader, and an emergency beacon activated, a Coast Guard spokesman said.

Crews scrambled when the emergency signal was received at about 5 a.m.

A 47-foot motor lifeboat and a Dolphin helicopter followed the EPIRB emergency signal and located a debris field and three people in the water about 2.5 miles west of Newport.

Two were pulled out by the helicopter crew and another was rescued by crew members on the boat.

All three were brought to shore and cared for by paramedics before being taken to Samaritan Pacific Hospital, according to Petty Officer Nate Littlejohn with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Rescue crews searched through the day. By late afternoon they halted the search. Littlejohn said they think the man likely died.

The Coast Guard did not say what may have happened to the Sound Leader.

According to records, the boat is registered to Sound Leader Seafoods in Bellingham, Wash. but a person who answered the phone there said the vessel was sold to a man in Siletz, Ore. last year.

Officials at Samaritan Pacific Hospital said the boats owner, Guy Mossington, is in "fair" condition at their hospital. The names of the other crew members have not been released.