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From The Associated Press:

ASTORIA, Ore.  — Authorities searched Saturday for four fishermen after crews found a debris field and an oil sheen several miles off the Washington coast.

The emergency beacon from an Oregon-based fishing boat led rescuers to the debris field and a damaged lifeboat, the Coast Guard said.

The distress signal came early Saturday from the 62-foot fishing vessel Lady Cecelia, which has a home port in Warrenton, Ore. and is registered to Dale Kent of Bay City, Ore. He could not be reached Saturday by The Associated Press, but the ship’s owner told the Guard that four people had been aboard.

“The life raft was in no condition to be used,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer Shawn Eggert. “There was a lot of debris, a sheen and the (beacon).”

 The ship was first registered in Oregon in 1991. Eggert said he didn’t have details on the debris, or whether the vessel was still intact. He said the Guard does not yet know a cause for the damage.

Overnight weather off the southern Washington coast was comprised of a slowly-moving front that was expected to be followed by gale-force winds.