Coast Guard suspends its search for missing Brookings man

The Coast Guard says Dan VanCleave was last seen at the entrance to the Chetco River at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

Posted: Nov 13, 2019 6:04 AM
Updated: Nov 14, 2019 10:49 AM

BROOKINGS, Ore. --

UPDATE: The Coast Guard has suspended its search for 59-year-old Dan VanCleave Wednesday night. This comes after more than 22 hours of combined searches in the vicinity of Brookings.

Coast Guard Sector North Bend coordinated 14 combined searches, which were conducted by an MH-65 Dolphin aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station North Bend, an aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Humboldt Bay, a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Chetco River and a beach-combing search conducted by members of Station Chetco River. All searches resulted in negative results.

“Suspending a search is never an easy decision to make,” said Capt. Benjamin Berg, chief of response for the 13th Coast Guard District. “We strive to save every single life, but tonight our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr. VanCleave.

(Updated 11/13/19 at 10:00pm)


UPDATE: Crews from the U.S. Coast Guard are still looking for 59-year-old Dan VanCleave in the waters where the Chetco River meets the Pacific Ocean. VanCleave was reported overdue on Tuesday night after his wife said he failed to return home by sunset.

The Coast Guard said that it used VanCleave's cellphone company to track the approximate location of his phone — a "2000-foot radius area of uncertainty that includes the beaches and ocean."

Over Tuesday evening, crews conducted searches on land, water, and by air to look for signs of VanCleave. They found his truck and trailer in the Brookings Boat Basin around 8 p.m.

"Coast Guard members reviewed the day's footage from the bar-tower camera to determine if or when VanCleave’s vessel departed the harbor," USCG said in a statement.

Around 10 p.m., they found an "unlit boat" less than two miles south of the Chetco River Jetty. The crews later confirmed that the 16-foot boat, found with its engine idling, was registered to VanCleave. His phone and other personal items were found onboard.

Crews towed the boat into Brookings and continued to search for VanCleave through the night. Air crews continued the search on Wednesday morning.

"The air temperature was reported at 48 degrees with a water temperature of 50 degrees," USCG said. "Visibility was 200 yards."

(Updated 11/13/19 at 10:45 a.m.)


INITIAL REPORT: The Coast Guard is looking for a fisherman off the Oregon Coast.

The Coast Guard says 59 year old Dan VanCleave left the Brookings marina Tuesday morning.

The Coast Guard says he was last seen at the entrance to the Chetco River at 11 a.m.

He is believed to be the only person aboard a 16 foot blue Hewescraft (example in thumbnail).

If you have any information on VanCleave's whereabouts, contact U.S. Coast Guard Sector North Bend at (541) 756-9210.

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