Three crab fishermen were rescued last (Tuesday) night after their boat was found washed up on the North Jetty, near the entrance to Coos Bay. US Coast Guard and local agencies searched for hours before locating the survivors.
A Coast Guard helicopter was on a routine flight when crew spotted the vessel at 5:25 pm. An aircrew and two motor life boats began searching for the 3 crabbers confirmed to have been on the 38-foot Pacific Miner. Just after 9:00 pm, crewmen from (Hauser and North Bay) area fire departments were able to reach the boat. Coast Guard’s Petty Officer Levi Reed describes what happened next.
“When those local agencies got closer to the boat, they heard people yelling and also saw arms moving,” Reed said. “The three fishermen were trapped inside but they were alive. Shortly thereafter they started cutting into the boat with saws.”
By 10:45 pm all three men were out of the boat. No injuries were reported however they were all “very cold.” It is still unclear why the crabbing vessel capsized.
Reed says this story had a favorable end because of the immediate response from the Coast Guard and local agencies. He says the fishermen followed standard procedures using a positioning radio beacon and they took refuge inside the pilot house of the boat while crossing a river bar prior to capsizing.
January is the most dangerous time of year on the Oregon Coast. Last week, a sneaker wave swept a man and two children into the ocean. Only the adult survived.
To watch a video of the rescue, go to US Coast Guard Pacific Northwest Facebook page:
scroll down page to find video, shared with permission by Basin Tackle Charleston on Facebook.