A Montana man was pronounced dead after he fell overboard and drowned about a half-mile offshore from Goat Island near Brookings Sunday morning.
The Miss B. Haven, a private sportsfishing boat based out of Keno, Ore., southwest of Klamath Falls, was on the ocean in rough seas near Harris Beach when 67-year-old Douglas Paul Casavan of St. Ignasius, Mont., fell out of the boat.
The boat, captained by Leslie Crawford of Klamath Falls, said the two were trying to pull in their lines from the rough seas when a large wave struck the boat and knocked Casavan from the back of the vessel.
Crawford said he radioed for help and threw a flotation cushion to the man. Casavan was able to get back to the boat and hang onto the boat's dive board where Crawford grabbed his coat.
The strong current and pounding waves, however, prevented Crawford from pulling the man into the boat, and he slipped from the captain's grasp.
A nearby dive vessel, the Aloha Kai, responded to help 10 to 15 minutes later. The crew of that boat, captain Todd Bingham and passenger Susan Stone, recovered Casavan from the ocean and took him to the Chetco River Coast Guard Station.
The Curry County Sheriff's Office Marine Division and the State Medical Examiner's Office are investigating the incident.