Coast Guard investigating cause of fishing vessel collision

13th Coast Guard District NewsSEATTLE — The Coast Guard is conducting an investigation into the cause of a collision involving two fishing vessels, Thursday, approximately 10 miles west of Willapa Bay, Wash.

The collision occurred when the 64-foot Ocean Beaut struck the 49-foot Columbian Star after its pilot reportedly fell asleep. The Columbian Star was trawling and unable to avoid the collision due to its limited mobility.

The Columbian Star suffered an estimated $150,000 in damages while the Ocean Beaut suffered only minor damages.

The impact caused the mast of the Columbian Star to fall into the water. Its crew was forced to cut the stays on the mast to prevent the vessel from capsizing. The mast sank along with the vessel’s radio antennas. The Columbia Star’s dragnet and associated gear were also unrecoverable. However, the crew marked the location on GPS in hopes of later salvaging it.

The Coast Guard is obligated to conduct an investigation when a maritime accident results in property damage in excess of $100,000 or more.

Drug and alcohol tests were administered to all members involved in the accident. No injuries were reported.

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