Searchers recovered the body of a crew member and searched for the captain of the White Swan III after it sank 35 miles off the Oregon coast.

The 24-hour search for captain Mike Morgan, 68, was suspended at 12:32 a.m. Sunday after Coast Guard boats and aircraft had worked over 232 square miles, the Coast Guard said.

Homeported in Newport, Ore., the 32-foot White Swan III was an albacore troller built in 1968 with a gross tonnage of 7 tons, according to Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission records.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend received a mayday call around 12 a.m. Saturday, March 26 from Morgan, the reporting that his vessel was sinking in the north end of the Heceta Banks fishing area. Morgan said he and a female crew member were aboard.

The 13th Coast Guard District Command Center also received an emergency position indicating radio beacon alert from the White Swan III.

An MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew launched from Air Facility Newport, arrived at the EPIRB signal location and spotted a debris field and a life raft. The helicopter crew had to return to base due to heavy fog and low visibility, and the search continued through the day in foggy conditions.

Units in the search included the 87-foot cutter Orcas, 47-foot motor lifeboats and helicopters from Newport air station and North Bend sector.

The Coast Guard recovered the body of the crew member, whose name had not been released as of Sunday. Morgan remained missing.

Associate Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for more than 30 years and a 25-year field editor for National Fisherman before joining our Commercial Marine editorial staff in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.

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