US Coast Guard personnel rescued three people and one dog from a commercial fishing vessel taking on water off Willapa Bay, Washington, on the morning (local time) of Saturday, February 13.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River received a distress call at approximately 07:30 that the fishing vessel Terry F reported a loss of power and was taking on water approximately six kilometres offshore.
An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Sector Columbia River diverted from routine operations, and a Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor 14-metre motor life boat crew diverted from a separate vessel escort to respond.
The three crewmembers were reportedly donning cold water immersion survival suits when communication with the coast guard was lost.
At 07:40, the MH-60 Jayhawk aircrew arrived on-scene and passed a radio to the vessel crew to reestablish communication.
The vessel was observed to be drifting toward hazardous breaking surf near shore, and the vessel crew was instructed to enter the water, one at a time, to be recovered by a coast guard rescue swimmer.
At approximately 09:15, all three persons were reported to be successfully recovered and aboard the helicopter en route to Westport Airport. They arrived at 09:30 in stable condition and declined medical assistance.
Terry F subsequently capsized and broke apart in the surf. The vessel’s emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) was later recovered by US Coast Guard Auxiliarists in the vicinity of Willapa Bay inlet.
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