Four rescued after boat sinks at mouth of Chetco River

By The Curry Coastal Pilot January 21, 2014 10:36 am

 

EDITOR'S NOTE: Contractors from Coos Bay were en route to Brookings Wednesday afternoon with a crane to lift the boat from the water. Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley, public affairs officer for the Coast Guard, said divers could be in the water as early as tomorrow or Friday to raise the boat and remove it from the channel.

Divers will place bags in the boat which will be filled with air to lift it to the surface. The boat will then be manuevered to the harbor where the crane will lift it from the water. 

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The U.S. Coast Guard rescued four fishermen Monday night after large waves hurtled the commercial fishing vessel Jo Marie into the jetty at the mouth of the Chetco River and sank it.

The body of a dog missing from the accident has been recovered, according to Port Manager Ted Fitzgerald.

 

At daybreak Tuesday, only the uppermost structure of the 62-foot, steel-hulled vessel could be seen above the water. A crowd gathered at the south jetty to watch as Coast Guard personnel and Port of Brookings Harbor employees surrounded the sunken vessel with a boom to contain any leaking fuel.  

The vessel reportedly has a capacity of about 3,000 gallons of fuel, but by Tuesday morning there were no reports of pollution in the water. 

The channel, partially blocked by the sunken boat, was subject to speed restrictions on other boat traffic, but was never officially closed.

At 8:16 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 vessel reportedly has a capacity of about 3,000 gallons of fuel, but by Tuesday morning 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.