Three Dead After Their Fishing Boat Capsizes Near Newport

Jan 9, 2019

Three crab fishermen are dead after their vessel capsized last night near Newport.

The Mary B II ran aground on the beach near the north side of the Yaquina Bay North Jetty.
Credit Oregon State Police / OSP

Before 10-pm, the U.S. Coast Guard heard of a boat needing help crossing the Yaquina Bay bar.

Captain Tim Fox of the Oregon State Police says at 10:13, responders learned that the vessel - the Mary B II - had capsized.

A Coast Guard helicopter.
Credit OCVA /

“The Coast Guard began an air search, and a ground search, and all three people have been located, but they are deceased,” Fox tells KLCC.

The Yaquina Bay bar is a treacherous stretch, according to Aaron Bretz of the Port of Newport.

“These river bars, where they clash with the incoming wave action that comes from all the way across the Pacific, right at the mouth of the entrance, generally the waves tend to get a little bit larger and more powerful, and sometimes they have breaking surf.”

A U.S. Coast Guard vessel at the Yaquinas Bay bar near where the Mary B II capsized.
Credit USGC_PNW / Twitter

48-year-old James Lacey was retrieved from the ocean, but pronounced dead at a Newport hospital. 50-year-old Joshua Porter was found dead on the shores of Nye Beach.  And the skipper, 50-year-old Stephen Biernacki, was found dead in his boat.

A GoFundMe drive for James Lacey's Memorial Fund can be found here.

A GoFundMe drive for Joshua Porter's Memorial Fund can be found here.

The Newport Fisherman's Wives are also taking donations for the surviving relatives of Porter, Lacey, and Biernacki here.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.