Nhial Opiew 07-04-09

Search suspended for missing crewman

Anchorage Daily News / adn.com, Published: July 5th, 2009

BERING SEA --- After half a day, the Coast Guard suspended its search for a man missing from a commercial fishing ship in the Bering Sea.

Nhial Opiew, 38, vanished sometime Saturday morning, according to his crewmates on the 140-foot, Seattle-based trawler, the Rebecca Irene. They called for help after Opiew did not show up for his watch duty. The last time he had been seen was more than four hours before that, and he was wearing just his pajamas.

The crew, Coast Guard and Good Samaritan vessels in the area looked for Opiew for 14 hours, the Coast Guard said. They searched 100 square miles but saw no sign of the man.

The search was hampered by poor visibility, said Lt. Nathaniel Johnson.

The ship, which was fishing for Pacific Ocean perch, was 25 miles southeast of Umnak Island, near Unalaska Island.

The Coast Guard did not immediately know Opiew's hometown.