Divers work to raise boat

Divers from Northwest Marine Services began work to raise the fishing vessel Jo Marie Thursday.

Starting to dive at about noon, the divers placed plastic bags in the boat that will be filled with air to raise the boat to the surface. However, strong tides prevented more work from being done.

Once the plastic bags are in place, the boat will be manouvered toward the barge slip. A crane is en route from Coos Bay to lift the boat out of the water. Port Manager Ted Fitzgerald said he expected the crane would arrive tomorrow.

Fitzgerald said the bar is open and fishing vessels were seen coming and going out of the harbor.

The U.S. Coast Guard is monitoring the boat and the operation to make sure no pollution occurs.

Divers are expected to be back in the water as early as 8 a.m. Friday morning to continue work on the boat.

At8:16 p.m. Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard Chetco River Station received an emergency radio call from the captain of the Jo Marie, reporting the boat had collided with the jetty while crossing the bar in heavy surf and was sinking.

The Coast Guard launched its 47-foot motor lifeboat and a Dolphin helicopter was sent from North Bend station.

The motor lifeboat crew was able to rescue all four crew members of the Jo Marie before it sank. There no reports of major injuries. However, a dog on board was missing, according to the Coast Guard. The body of the dog was found Wednesday.

The vessel reportedly has a capacity of about 3,000 gallons of fuel, but byTuesdaymorning there were no reports of pollution in the area.

Coast Guard marine investigators from Coast Guard Sector Columbia River, in Warrenton, are investigating the incident.

The Curry Coastal Pilot
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Friday October 21, 2016

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