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Search suspended for crabber lost in Penn Cove | Corrected

The search for a crab fisherman who went missing in Penn Cove Sunday afternoon has been called off.

Shawn Eggert, a spokesman for the Coast Guard, confirmed the search was suspended at about 10:45 a.m. Monday morning. The missing man has not yet been identified but the boat hailed from the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Eggert said.

The 32-foot bow-picker was discovered along the east side of Whidbey Island at 2:35 p.m. yesterday by a Swinomish Fisheries patrol boat. It was unmanned and under power but with not one at the helm.

"It was found driving in circles," Eggert said.

Along with a Port Angeles-based helicopter, boats from Station Seattle, the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office and Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue all began looking for the missing fisherman.

Divers were also dispatched. Their search focused on the area where six pots believed to have come from the boat were found in the water. Eggert said the fisherman is believed to have been alone.

Efforts to find the man went on throughout the night. The search was called off after a helicopter crew conducted a final sweep of the area this morning but found no trace of the missing fisherman.

The length of time a search goes on is based on factors ranging from weather and the individual's health to location and water temperature. According to Eggert, the water in Penn Cove is cold enough that survival time was estimated at 10 hours.

"The search went on for about 21 hours," he said.

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