Three rescued in Oregon from overturned crab boat

Firefighters cut through the hull of an overturned crab boat to rescue three crew members Tuesday night at the entrance to Coos Bay, Ore.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew on a routine training flight spotted the 38-foot Pacific Miner struggling in heavy seas, before its halogen deck lights suddenly disappeared. Shortly after getting a radio message from the air crew, the Sector North Bend command center got notification that the Pacific Miner’s EPIRB was activated and transmitting from the submerged boat.

Two 47-foot motor lifeboats were launched to search for the crew, and the Hauser Fire Department mounted a search along with the North Bend Fire Department, Coos County Sheriff’s Office and state police. More than three hours later the boat was located upside down near the tip of the north jetty at the bay entrance.

Firefighters used a reciprocating saw to hack into the overturned hull of the Pacific Miner. North Bay Fire District photo.

Firefighters used a reciprocating saw to hack into the overturned hull of the Pacific Miner. North Bay Fire District photo.

Searchers heard the crew yelling from inside the wave-battered boat. Firefighters used safety lifelines to descend the rocks and listen the men banging inside the hull.

A battery-powered reciprocating saw was used to hack through the hull, and the crew were helped out and up the jetty rocks by first responders. All three men emerged in stable condition and were transported to the hospital, according to North Bay Fire District Chief James Aldrich.

About the author

Kirk Moore

Associate Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been a field editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for almost 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.

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