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Friends and co-workers who knew Eric Eder lined the south jetty Wednesday afternoon to watch the fishing vessel he fell from, while in the Bering Sea, return to Newport, without him.
The vessel appeared a mile offshore shortly after 4pm and slowly made its way to the bar at the tip of the jetties. The Coast Guard Motorlifeboat Victory met the Seeker there and proceeded to escort it the full length of the jetties, under the bridge and back to port. The Seeker decks were barren of any crewmen, but a lone member suddenly emerged and stood at attention as it passed the crowd looking on.
The crew aboard the Seeker the day Eric disappeared had later unloaded their catch at Dutch Harbor and flew home right away. A different crew joined the Seeker for more fishing, also unloaded their catch and then sailed the vessel home to Newport.
Immediately after Eric fell overboard, a Coast Guard search was launched in the air by helo and on the sea by a Coast Guard cutter. They and other fishing boats looked for Eric, all knowing that no one could survive the Bering Sea’s 38 degree temperature for more than a few minutes. After ten hours, the Coast Guard called off their search.
Those assembled along the jetty and on the Yaquina Bay Bridge were also remembering Makala Osborn, 17, of Tidewater and Cayden Fitch, 18, of Lincoln City, both of whom lost their lives several weeks ago in traffic accidents.