WARRENTON, Ore. — The Coast Guard and several good Samaritan vessels assisted 13 people aboard a charter vessel taking on water 40 miles offshore of Ocean Park, Washington, Friday.
All 13 people, nine passengers and four crewmembers, remained aboard the 44-foot charter vessel Playboy Too and were escorted to Westport, Washington, by a Coast Guard boatcrew.
One of the good Samaritan vessels, the Sea Angel, notified Coast Guard Sector Columbia River of the situation via VHF-FM radio channel 16 at 9:42 a.m. A watchstander at the sector responded by directing the launch of an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, and boatcrews aboard 47-foot Motor Life Boats from Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment in Ilwaco, Washington, and Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor in Westport.
Everybody aboard the charter vessel donned life jackets while waiting on response crews. Two dewatering pumps were provided to the Playboy Too by good Samaritans to help fight the flooding.
The Jayhawk crew arrived on scene at about 10:30 a.m., and lowered a dewatering pump to the Playboy Too. The crew of the charter vessel used the dewatering pumps along with the built in bilge pumps to keep up with the flooding. The flooding was coming from a hole at the waterline in the starboard forward compartment.
While the vessel was being dewatered, the captain of the vessel jumped in the ocean and covered the hole with a board and putty, successfully slowing the flooding.
Both MLB crews arrived on scene at about 12 p.m., with the MLB crew from Station Grays Harbor providing another dewatering pump and a damage control kit as a precaution. With the situation stabilized, both the Jayhawk and Cape Disappointment MLB crews were released from the scene and returned to base, while the vessel started making way toward Grays Harbor under the supervision of the Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor MLB crew. They arrived safely in Westport at 8:35 p.m.
“This was a great collaborative effort between Coast Guard crews and fellow mariners who came to the aid of another,” said Lt. Christopher Morris, command duty officer, Sector Columbia River. “Without the call for help from the Sea Angel crew this could have had a completely different ending.”
Weather conditions during assist efforts were 7-foot seas, water temperature of 64 degrees and an air temperature of 63 degrees.
The cause of the incident is unknown at this time and is under investigation.