Along with the rescue of three people and a dog from the Terry F, a report states that Coast Guard rescue crews from Station Cape Disappointment responded to two other distress calls during the season opener of the Washington State commercial crab season this past Saturday.
In the report it states that the Ilwaco station, along with Station Grays Harbor, were part of the rescue of the Terry F as it began to take on water near Willapa Bay. Despite the rescue, the vessel was lost.
The full press release from that case can be found HERE.
Once on scene, a rescue crew determined that it was safer for the injured person and a Coast Guard crewmember to remain aboard and the 62-foot fishing boat was moored in Ilwaco and the patient was safely transferred to awaiting EMS.
At the same time, a separate MLB rescue crew from Ilwaco was assisting the crew of a 66-foot fishing boat off the coast of Long Beach. The initial distress call stated that the vessel was disabled and drifting to shore with five people aboard, dragging its anchor.
“In 16 to 18-foot seas, the MLB crew placed the vessel in tow, de-anchored the vessel, and began the transit south. With the disabled vessel being above optimal towing capabilities and with the increased risk of crossing the bar, the MLB crew from the previous rescue joined to assist with the tow. The new MLB crew put the vessel in an alongside tow while the other MLB continued a stern tow. At times, the ebb tide was strong enough that at several points, all three vessels were unable to make any headway. The disabled vessel was taken to a pier in Warrenton, Ore., and safely docked around 9:30 p.m.”
“Coast Guard rescue crews around the country stand the watch 24/7/365,” said Lt. Jessica Shafer, commanding officer, Station Cape Disappointment. “They do so much more than that, too. The same crews underway are the same crews that maintain the boats and facilities. The evening before, the crews were up at 1:30 a.m. A strong storm had knocked the power out around the local area. The crab fleet had just begun to depart for sea so the crewmembers immediately validated that the Columbia River Bar range lights and the lighthouse were operating under generator properly. It is truly impressive to witness that sort of dedication.”
Shafer continued, “…the actions of the Coast Guard small boat crews throughout the day were phenomenal, but so were the actions of the crews we assisted. When our boat arrived on scene with the distressed vessel in Long Beach, the fishing vessel’s crew had already donned their survival equipment. They knew what attachment points would be the strongest to use, and they were efficient at bringing our assistance lines over and attaching them. Those precious few moments can make all the difference.”
In total, USCG says that Station Cape Disappointment crews spent nearly 28 hours underway in seas up to 20-feet and helped save $638,595 of property.