Search continues for two missing crabbers

Luciano Marano
lmarano@ptleader.com
Posted 10/29/20

Two local men were still missing this week after venturing out for a night of crabbing Oct. 9, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Walter Mead, 60, of Chimacum, and Sean …

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Search continues for two missing crabbers

Posted

Two local men were still missing this week after venturing out for a night of crabbing Oct. 9, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Walter Mead, 60, of Chimacum, and Sean Pickering, 42, of Port Hadlock, were reported missing by their families at about 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, having left to go crabbing near Marrowstone Island the evening before.

The men did not return home, but their boat, a 12-foot aluminum skiff, was found in the water near Fort Flagler Historical State Park later that night by a group of campers, according to Jefferson County Sheriff Joe Nole.

Nole said this week a body was found washed ashore on Camano Island recently, but was determined not to be either of the missing men via a dental record comparison.

Along with the boat used by the missing men, an oar, cooler, and two seat cushions were found. The men’s families said neither crabber had a phone.

The men’s disappearance prompted a multi-agency search effort, including the launching of a Coast Guard helicopter from Port Angeles and at least three boats with Salish Rescue, a volunteer search-and-rescue nonprofit organization.

Initially discontinued at about 7 p.m. Oct. 10, the search has been restarted since, and searchers have also used a drone in an attempt to find the men.

The sheriff’s office recently reported it had searched the Killisut Harbor and Mystery Bay areas along with Indian Island personnel and Port Townsend police.

Crabbing can be deceptively dangerous, as it’s a seemingly non-hazardous undertaking, Nole said, and he urged caution and preparedness for those venturing onto the water for any reason.

Tragic accidents occur in local waters with  sobering regularity, the sheriff said.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Mead and Pickering are asked to contact police.

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