Coast Guard crews rescue 5 fishermen from sinking vessel west of Siletz Bay, Oregon

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SEATTLE — Coast Guard crews rescued five people after their vessel sank eight miles west of Siletz Bay, Oregon, Saturday.

Three of the survivors were rescued from their life raft by an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Facility Newport, Oregon, and treated for minor injuries by EMS at the Newport Municipal Airport. The other two survivors were transferred from the life raft to a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Coast Guard Station Depoe Bay, Oregon, and were evaluated by EMS at the station.

“The preparedness of the crew of Blazer was exceptional,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew Blanchard, search and rescue coordinator at Coast Guard Sector North Bend, Oregon. “They recognized when they needed help and took the steps necessary to put themselves in a position where we could quickly and safely bring them home to their families. Having the proper safety equipment and training to use it is essential for all mariners, especially commercial fishermen of the Pacific Northwest.”

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Facility Newport, Ore., poses for a photo at the facility with three crew members of the fishing vessel Blazer after they were rescued from their life raft following the sinking of their vessel eight miles west of Siletz Bay, Ore., Nov. 29, 2014. The other two Blazer crew members were rescued by a 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Coast Guard Station Depoe Bay, Ore. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Air Facility Newport)

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Facility Newport, Ore., poses for a photo at the facility with three crew members of the fishing vessel Blazer after they were rescued from their life raft following the sinking of their vessel eight miles west of Siletz Bay, Ore., Nov. 29, 2014. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Air Facility Newport)

Coast Guard Sector North Bend watchstanders received a mayday call over VHF-FM radio channel 16 at 4:17 a.m. from the crew of the 75-foot fishing vessel Blazer stating that they were disabled, taking on water, and jettisoning their crab pots.

Approximately 10 minutes after the initial mayday call, the Blazer crew reported that they were donning immersion suits and deploying their life raft. Sector North Bend watchstanders subsequently lost communication with the crew of the vessel.

The MLB crew launched at 4:41 a.m. in response and the Dolphin crew launched at 4:45 a.m.

The Dolphin crew located the heavily listing Blazer and its crew nearby in a life raft, at 5:04 a.m. The aircrew lowered a rescue swimmer into the water at 5:20 a.m. to assess the condition of the crewmembers in the life raft.

After everyone in the life raft was accounted for, the Dolphin crew hoisted three of the survivors into the aircraft. The MLB crew arrived on scene at 6 a.m. and transferred the remaining two survivors to the MLB.

The Blazer sank in 420 feet of water with reportedly 2,000 gallons of diesel aboard. There have been no reports of pollution at this time. Sector North Bend pollution responders are monitoring the situation and will respond if needed.

Coast Guard officials will work with the owner to establish a salvage plan for the vessel, if possible. The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Weather on scene at the time of the incident was reportedly winds at 30 to 35 mph with seas of 15 feet and rain. The air temperature was 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the water temperature was 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

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One Comment

  1. Randy Kane says:

    This is a great example of why the helicopter should not be removed from Newport, OR. A future response will take 45 – 60 minutes more after December 15, 2014. The 47 MLB arrived an hour after this quick 19 minute response. Please support the Coast Guard helicopter until at Newport, Oregon.