Coast Guard, Wahkiakum County Sheriffs assist disabled boater

Pacific Northwest Coast Guard News
ASTORIA, Ore. – A U.S. Coast Guard aircrew and members of the Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office assisted a man and two dogs aboard a disabled vessel near Skamokawa, Wash., Wednesday morning.

The man was fishing near Steamboat Slough when his 19-foot boat suffered an engine casualty and became disabled; no injuries were reported.

The man’s wife contacted authorities at about 9:43 a.m., alerting them that he had contacted her using a cellular phone, and that he had run out of fuel. He had no other communications device.

A Coast Guard aircrew, aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria and already flying in the area conducting training, located the man at 10:43 a.m. The aircrew was able to direct a Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office boatcrew to the area. The boatcrew towed the disabled vessel to Cathlamet Marina in Cathlamet, Wash.

While many boaters rely on cell phones for emergency communications on the water, the Coast Guard recommends that all boaters carry VHF-FM radios, which are more reliable in the maritime environment and work in areas where cell phone signals may be limited or nonexistent.

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