ASTORIA, Ore. — The Coast Guard rescued two people from their boat after it capsized Wednesday night off the coast of Nesika Beach.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Columbia River received notification around 7:30 p.m. from the wife of the captain of a 26-foot commercial fishing vessel stating that her husband had not made it back to the marina at the time he said.
Shortly thereafter, the watchstanders dispatched a rescue boatcrew from Station Chetco River aboard a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat and an aircrew aboard a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station North Bend. They also conferred with the local police department who confirmed the operator’s truck and trailer were still at the boat ramp.
The wife had also relayed to the Coast Guard that a friend had called the vessel operator at approximately 3 p.m., which was the last time someone had contact with anyone on the vessel. Utilizing cell phone forensics, watchstanders were able to narrow down a viable search area.
Just after 11 p.m., the aircrew located the vessel with the men sitting on the overturned hull. They were not wearing life jackets. The helicopter crew then vectored the boatcrew to the scene.
The Motor Lifeboat arrived to the capsized vessel at 11:30 p.m. and safely recovered both individuals. They were showing signs of hypothermia and were provided blankets and water aboard the Motor Lifeboat. The men were brought to Station Chetco River and arrived at 2 a.m. They were seen and released by awaiting EMS responders.
In total, the men spent nearly eight hours sitting on top of the hull of the vessel.
“This case highlights the importance of creating a ‘float plan,’ or simply just telling a friend or family member who is staying back where you are going and when to expect you back,” said Lt. Michael Jeffko, Command Duty Officer for Sector Columbia River. “With the excellent search planning and coordination between our watchstanders in the command center and the rescue crews at Station Chetco River and Air Station North Bend, we had a successful outcome. Our crews train for these incidents and their flawless execution resulted in two lives saved.”