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Search For Missing Boat With Five Aboard Expanded

August 31, 1986 GMT

NORTH BEND, Ore. (AP) _ The search for a missing shrimp boat with five people aboard, including the owner’s three children, was expanded Sunday off the southern Oregon and northern California coasts, the Coast Guard said.

The 80-foot Liebling, based in Astoria, has not been heard from since early Thursday and failed to show up Saturday at Brookings as scheduled, Coast Guard Lt. Bruce Gaudette said.

″We’ve been watching all the ports to see if he comes in anywhere and he hasn’t,″ Gaudette said.

The search of the Pacific Ocean began Thursday off Cape Blanco in southwestern Oregon.

The search area was expanded Sunday from 4,400 square miles to 5,000 square miles. The area stretches from 15 miles south of the Oregon-California border to just north of Cape Arago near Coos Bay, and out about 35 miles, Gaudette said.

″We’ve found nothing to shed any more light on the situation,″ he added. ″We had hoped he was going to show up last night according to his normal operating plan.″

The boat’s owner, Dale Dixon, 40, had planned to meet his ex-wife in Brookings late Saturday to return their three sons, who live with their mother in Crescent City, Calif. The boys were identified as Rusty, 18; Jason, 15; and Caleb, 8.

Also on board the boat was crewman Mike Goergen, 25. The Coast Guard did not have hometowns for Dixon and Goergen.

A Coast Guard cutter, a C-130 airplane from the Coast Guard Air Station in Sacramento, Calif., and a helicopter were being used in the search, Petty Officer Gary Cullen said.