Body of commercial crabber found inside his boat’s sunken hull in Willapa Bay

  • Thu May 31st, 2018 3:46pm
  • News

The Daily World

The body found Friday inside the sunken commercial vessel Kelli J has been confirmed to be that of Kevin Soule, the boat’s operator, according to a statement released by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Pacific County Sheriff’s Office personnel transported the fisherman to a local funeral home that evening. The Kelli J was refloated after the remains were recovered by a team of contract divers, and the vessel was towed to the Nahcotta marina. The Coast Guard statement indicated Soule’s insurance company will handle the remainder of the salvage efforts.

The Kelli J was originally reported missing on Saturday, May 19, which sparked search and rescue efforts that extended into Monday when the search was suspended. Multiple efforts were conducted to attempt to locate the missing vessel, which was found submerged within Willapa Bay about three miles northwest of Oysterville. Strong tides and other factors delayed the recovery process by several days. The cause of the sinking is under investigation.