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October 19, 2004 11:00 pm


Pilot Staff Writer

U.S. Coast Guard personnel Sunday rescued the fishing vessel Antoinette from sinking at the Port of Brookings Harbor.

The vessel, a small salmon troller, was moored at Commercial "P" dock Sunday when it began to take on water. Richard Daniels, owner and skipper of the boat, called Chetco River Station asking for help.

Coast Guard personnel responded with its mobile unit, which featured a pair of pumps.

Seamen worked for nearly 40 minutes with two 250 gallons-per-minute pumps to keep the boat somewhat afloat.

Another pump from another Coast Guard unit and a smaller pump from port staff, along with the other Coast Guard pumps were able to stabilize the Antoinette, according to Chief Eric Benafel.

"We worked from 11:05 to about 11:45 a.m. and we were just keeping up with it. Once we got the other pumps, then we started seeing an increase in buoyancy," Benafel said.

When the Coast Guard was able to get the boat above water, they towed it to the port's haul-out station where it was lifted out of the water.

Once the Antoinette was on blocks in the boat yard, the cause for the accident was pretty obvious. A side plank had popped out from the side.

Quick reaction from the Coast Guard prevented what could have been a bad situation.

"It would have been an environmental hazard," Benafel said. "When the fishermen call, we go immediately. We had to be pretty aggressive for a positive result."

Daniels estimated the value of the boat at approximately $30,000.


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