Credit: Courtesy

“The decision to suspend a search is one of the most difficult decisions we have to make,” said Coast Guard Captain Nathan Coulter last Friday, after rescue teams had searched a 244-square-mile area off Grays Harbor, Washington, for 22 hours. Lost at sea while halibut fishing aboard the Defiance II was Jason LaBrie, who grew up in Santa Barbara.

LaBrie, who was 47 years old, was well-known through his church, Young Life, Santa Barbara High School, and the fishing and diving community, his brother Matt LaBrie said. He had moved to Oregon City, Oregon, and was raising two children with his wife, Bethany. Jason LaBrie’s friends have organized a GoFundMe in an effort to aid his family, and they alternatively ask for prayers to help them through a tragic time.

Fishermen aboard the 26-foot ship activated an emergency beacon when they realized their companion was missing after noon on May 14. The Coast Guard dispatched two aircraft and two boats in the 18 searches they conducted throughout the afternoon and night before conceding.

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