NORTH BEND, Ore. – Coast Guard air and boat crews worked together to assist three people and a dog aboard a 51-foot sailing vessel that was disabled and adrift about 45 miles west of Siuslaw River, Wednesday.
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Cuttyhunk, a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Port Angeles, Wash., is towing the sailing vessel Rogue Scholarship toward Reedsport and will transfer the tow to the crew of a 47-foot motor life boat from Coast Guard Station Umpqua River.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend initially received an uncorrelated distress call at 9:30 a.m. Forty five minutes later, watchstanders received a digital selected call distress notification with a location about three miles west of the observed location of the first notification. Aircrews launched aboard two MH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station North Bend and Coast Guard Air Facility Newport, a boatcrew launched from Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River aboard an MLB, the crew of the Cuttyhunk diverted from patrolling nearby and a C-27J medium range surveillance aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento to search for possible mariners in distress.
The master of the vessel was able to contact the C-27J aircrew and reported that all three people on board were in good condition, but the vessel had a torn sail, fouled propeller and had been adrift for three days. A Dolphin aircrew arrived on scene and deployed a rescue swimmer with a VHF-FM radio. The crew of the Cuttyhunk arrived on scene and placed the sailboat in tow and is expected to arrive near Reedsport at about 9 p.m.
“This was a complex case involving assets from different parts of the country,” said Wesley Trull, the operations unit controller at Sector North Bend. “Our air, boat and cutter crews were able to work together to get these mariners in distress the help they needed.”
Weather on scene was reported to be 4-to-6 foot seas with 10-to-15 knot winds and a water temperature of 57 degrees.