Details of Disappearance Bjaranson was a deckhand on the 70-foot fishing trawler The Lady Cecelia, which sank about 17 miles off the coast of southern Washington on March 10, 2012.
Nobody issued any distress calls or lit any flares; only when the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) went off did anyone realize there was anything wrong. The Coast Guard station in Warrenton, Oregon responded to the EPIRB signal at 3:30 a.m. and a Coast Guard helicopter found an oil slick, some crab pots, an empty life raft and other debris adrift in the ocean.
Bjaranson was an experienced fisherman and he could get into his survival suit in less than thirteen seconds. That, and the fact that there was no distress signal, indicates The Lady Cecelia went down in only a couple of seconds. It may have been struck by a rogue wave or another vessel, or may have run into mechanical failure. The Coast Guard searched over 640 square miles but didn't find any sign of Bjaranson or the other occupants of the boat, Luke Jensen, David Nichols and and Chris Langel.
A maritime salvage company hired by the Coast Guard located The Lady Cecelia itself in September 2012. The boat was on the ocean floor in 460 feet of water, about 20 miles off Leadbetter Point. There were no bodies aboard.
Bjaranson lived with his girlfriend at the time of his disappearance; they have a young son together. He is presumed lost at sea.
Photographs and vital statistics for Jensen, Nicholas and Langel are unavailable.
- United States Coast Guard
Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated September 21, 2018; three pictures added.