The following is a press release from the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay:
After extensive searches and carefully considering all the factors, the Coast Guard has suspended active search efforts for two men who went missing Tuesday while boating in Humboldt Bay.
Mr. Scott Arbaugh of Eureka and his son Mr. Josh Arbaugh of Arcata set out from Fields Landing Tuesday morning in a small speedboat and did not return. Family reported them missing Tuesday evening and the Coast Guard and Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office began search efforts on the water and onshore. A Coast Guard aircrew located their sunken boat around midnight on Tuesday approximately 1/2 mile northeast of King Salmon.
HCSO recovered the boat around 1330 on Wednesday but no further evidence of the occupants has been found.
Coast Guard search assets included MH-65 helicopter crews from Sector Humboldt Bay, 29’ RBS-II boat crews from Coast Guard Station Humboldt Bay, small boat crews from USCGC BARRACUDA, and C-27 aircrews from US Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento. Together they searched more than 247 cumulative miles over 54 resource hours. The entirety of Humboldt Bay was searched multiple times, as well as the surrounding shoreline and offshore up and down the coast.
Humboldt Bay Fire dive team responded and California Department of Fish and Wildlife used side-scan sonar, but could not locate any potential targets. Ground parties from HCSO, Eureka Police Department, and local PG&E personnel searched on shore throughout the area with nothing found.
Coast Guard personnel thoroughly evaluated winds, tides, currents, water temperatures, and overall search conditions in making the decision to suspend active search efforts.
“It’s always a difficult decision to suspend a search when we could not locate the missing mariners. There comes a time when we have saturated the search areas and there’s simply nothing more we can do but hope that new evidence will turn up in the future. Our deepest condolences go out to the Arbaugh family and the community in this trying time, and our appreciation to all our professional partners that supported the search effort.” – CDR Joe Matthews, acting Sector Commander