PORTLAND, Ore. — The Coast Guard has ended a search of the Columbia River near Portland after a small fishing boat was found adrift with no one on board. But authorities are asking boaters in the area to keep an eye out for signs of a possible victim.

The agency says another boater reported seeing the 16-foot vessel adrift early Sunday morning about a mile east of the Interstate 205 bridge. Fire department boats from Portland, the Port of Portland and Vancouver, Washington, helped retrieve the boat, which had fishing gear, ice, a lifejacket and various personal items.

Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read (LEE’-vy REED’) says authorities have not confirmed that anyone is in fact missing, but all signs point to that.

The boat is registered to 62-year-old Brian Schmitz of Sandy, Oregon, but authorities aren’t sure if he was the person who took the boat out or if he had loaned it to someone. They were unable to immediately get in touch with Schmitz on Sunday.


This story has been corrected to show that the boat was discovered Sunday morning, not Saturday.