USCG Rescues Two After Fishing Boat Drifts onto Coos River Jetty

Images courtesy USCG

Published Sep 23, 2019 1:57 PM by The Maritime Executive

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter aircrew rescued two fishermen from the jetty at the entrance to Coos Bay, Oregon on Sunday after a commercial fishing vessel grounded and drifted onto the rocks. 

At about 0050 hours early Sunday, Coast Guard Sector North Bend received a radio distress call from the fishing vessel Fearless II. The vessel's crew reported that their boat had been disabled after striking a submerged object and was in danger of drifting onto the jetty at the Coos River entrance.

Sector North Bend watchstanders directed the launch of the helicopter aircrew and a motor lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Coos Bay. The boat crew arrived at the scene at about 0115 hours, and the aircrew about 15 minutes later. The two fishermen aboard the vessel abandoned ship into the water and made it up onto the jetty. One was injured in this evolution, with abrasions and a cut; the other suffered no injuries. 

The waters just off the jetty are not favorable for safe navigation, and the Coast Guard does not believe a salvage effort is possible. The response is focused on debris cleanup.

Coos Bay is Oregon's largest coastal port, and like virtually all of the state's ports - including inland facilities in Portland and The Dalles - it requires a bar crossing to access. It is occasionally closed to small vessels when conditions are unfavorable; Coos Bay is seeking to improve access by deepening its navigation channel to 45 feet deep