GRAYS HARBOR, Wash. — Today marks one week since the U.S. Coast Guard suspended a search for a 47-year-old man who apparently fell overboard while halibut fishing more than 20 miles off the coast of Grays Harbor.
The man who went missing, Jason LaBrie, was once a resident of Santa Barbara but most recently lived in Oregon City, Ore., according to local reports. He attended Santa Barbara High School, and members of his extended family still reside in the area.
The Coast Guard was alerted that Mr. LaBrie was missing at sea around 12:40 p.m. last Friday, when other fishermen aboard his ship realized he was no longer on board.
The Coast Guard arrived at the scene and completed 18 searches of a 244-square mile area over the course of 22 hours before suspending its search for Mr. LaBrie last Friday.
“The decision to suspend a search is one of the most difficult decisions we have to make,” Capt. Nathan Coulter, chief of incident management for the 13th Coast Guard District, said in a statement. “We offer our deepest sympathies to the family of Jason LaBrie in this difficult time.”
Since Mr. LaBrie’s tragic disappearance, friends of the family started a GoFundMe page to raise money for Mr. LaBrie’s wife, Bethany, and children Alden and Sophia. As of Thursday evening, community members raised over $54,000 for the family and counting.
“Losing a spouse is a devastation; a sudden unexpected loss is even more horrific,” Gail Shelton, the fundraiser organizer, wrote on the page.
The GoFundMe currently has a goal to raise $60,000 to support the LaBrie family. To access the fundraiser, visit gofundme.com/f/jason-labrie-lost-at-sea.