USCG Rescues Fisherman From Sinking Vessel off Columbia River Bar

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The Coast Guard rescued a fisherman from the water Tuesday morning after his vessel began taking on water and sank near Cape Disappointment, the entrance to the Columbia River bar.

At 0130 hours on Tuesday, Coast Guard Sector Columbia River received a VHF mayday call from a man aboard a commercial fishing vessel, who reported that he was taking on water near Cape Disappointment. A motor lifeboat crew and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew responded to the scene. 

Coast Guard watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast, and they asked the fisherman to activate his EPIRB and set off flares to guide in the first responders. 

The crew of Columbia River Bar Pilot boat Astoria heard the emergency broadcast and diverted to assist in the rescue.

At about 0200, the Coast Guard boatcrew arrived on scene and began passing over a dewatering pump in an attempt to control the flooding. However, the vessel began taking on water at an increasing rate, and the man abandoned the boat into the water. The Coast Guard boatcrew rescued him quickly and brought him to shore. 

“The mariner was prepared for an emergency,” said PO3 Caitlin Maronde, a crew member aboard the Station Cape Disappointment MLB. “Having the proper emergency equipment may have saved his life.”

The Coast Guard recommended that mariners should use caution while transiting near the mouth of the Columbia River due to the possible presence of floating debris from the sunken boat. 

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