Coast Guard Crew Rescued From Columbia River


Photo: Coast Guard/file

The crew of a small Coast Guard boat was rescued from the Columbia River near Astoria after it was swamped by large waves.

The boat was a 26-foot Coast Guard Trailerable Aids to Navigation Boat. It's used to maintain river markers.

Four Coast Guardsmen were aboard the vessel conducting routine operations near Pier 39 when the capsizing occurred. The vessel reportedly encountered a series of heavy wakes that came over the bow, which resulted in an unrecoverable starboard list that capsized the vessel.

At 11:39 a.m., watchstanders at the 13th Coast Guard District command center in Seattle received four Personal Locator Beacon alerts registered to Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Astoria.

The beacons' positions correlated with multiple good Samaritans' reports of visual distress signals in the vicinity of Pier 39 in Astoria, Oregon. Correlating reports were also received by Astoria 911 dispatch.

At approximately 11:50 a.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River issued an urgent marine information broadcast (UMIB) and directed a Coast Guard Air Station Astoria MH-60 Jayhawk crew and a Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew to respond.

At 12:09 p.m., crew members aboard the Columbia Bar Pilot vessel Connor Foss contacted the Coast Guard reporting they had recovered the four Coast Guardsmen from the water after responding to the UMIB and were en route to awaiting medical personnel at the 17th Street pier.

Clatsop County Sheriff Marine Unit assisted in the recovery by towing the capsized vessel to the 17th Street pier.

The crew was taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital in good condition.

The Coast Guard is overseeing salvage operations and has initiated the mishap board review process.