Coast Guard Rescue Roundup: June 2018

Rescue and recovery tales from around the country and beyond. In this edition, two medevacs, a boat runs aground after losing power and seven people escape a sinking boat.


Northeast

The Coast Guard and the Gloucester Fire Department rescued a 78-year-old fisherman from the lobster boat Sea Force One after the man injured his leg on June 19.

Coast Guard watchstanders in Boston, Mass., received the call for help around 3:20 p.m. and launched a 29-foot rescue boat crew that arrived on scene 17 miles south of Gloucester soon after. A 47-foot lifeboat was also sent from the Coast Guard station in Gloucester with Gloucester Fire Department paramedics on board.

The lobsterman was transferred to the 29-foot boat and brought to shore in Gloucester where emergency medial personnel took over. The fisherman was reportedly in stable condition.

Pacific

On June 6, Coast Guard crews rescued a fisherman from the 26-foot Ronni J as the boat began to sink about two and a half miles west of the Chetco River entrance in Oregon.

The 29-foot commercial fishing vessel Roni J sinks off the Chetco River. Coast Guard photo.

The boat’s captain alerted the Coast Guard to his situation around 10 a.m. — the boat was flooding and the onboard dewatering pumps were unable to keep up with the rising water. The fisherman reported that the water may have been coming in through the vessel’s shaft seal.

Two Coast Guard stations launched response boats to the scene. An official boarded the Ronni J with a portable dewatering pump to help get the captain ahead of the flooding. They were able to start the pump, but at one point the water shifted, forcing them to relocate, and they were unable to find a new spot before the water had risen too high.

Officials and the captain decided that dewatering efforts were a lost cause and abandoned the boat. The vessel sank in water with a depth of approximately 216 feet and with a max potential of 60 gallons of fuel aboard.

There were no reported injuries.

 

On June 18, Coast Guard officials medevaced a 50-year-old fisherman from the F/V Myrna Lynn about 13 miles west of the entrance to Grays Harbor, Wash., after the man suffered a severe hand injury.

Watchstanders at Sector Columbia River received the injury report via VHF-FM radio at 8:15 a.m. and dispatched a 47-foot motor lifeboat from the Coast Guard Station at Grays Harbor to take the fisherman to shore where he was treated for his injury and shock.

The injured fisherman was taken to Grays Harbor Community Hospital.

 

Around 5 a.m. on the morning of Tuesday, June 19, the 28-foot F/V Kluane lost power on it’s way out to sea and ran aground after drifting into a rocky area of the North Spit in Coos Bay, Ore. known as the Cribs Jetty.

The owner of the boat wanted to wait until the next high tide to maneuver the boat free, but local Coast Guard officials said the move was too risky and unsafe.

“We asked him to get off the boat because we felt like it was an unsafe situation… He had a friend of his come and pick him up off the boat. We had a couple of our assets standing by in case we were needed,” said Kary Moss, the commanding officer at Coast Guard Station Coos Bay.

The owner was told to submit an approved salvage plan for the boat.

 

Alaska

Coast Guard officials rescued seven people from a life raft in Thorne Bay, Alaska, on June 29 after the 58-foot Mystic Lady ran aground and sank.

The crew of the Mystic Lady escaped on a life raft after the boat hit a rock and started taking on water. Coast Guard photo.

Coast Guard watchstanders received a 406 EPRIB alert and a mayday broadcast via VHF-FM Channel 16 from the captain of the Mystic Lady reporting that the boat had struck a rock and was sinking quickly.

A boat crew was launched to rescue the crew — five adults and two children — from the Coast Guard station in Ketchikan.

“We were the first to arrive on scene, and I’m thankful that we were able to assist these people as quickly as we could,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob Fischer, the small boat coxswain during the case. “With the inflatable life raft that the survivors used, they increased their own chances of survival exponentially until we were able to be on scene and assist.”

No injuries were reported. The Mystic Lady reportedly had 350 gallons of diesel fuel and 25 gallons of lube oil on board. There were no reports of pollution.

About the author

Samuel Hill

Samuel Hill is associate editor for National Fisherman. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine where he got his start in journalism at the campus’ newspaper, the Free Press. He has also written for the Bangor Daily News, the Outline, Motherboard and other publications about technology and culture.

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