Two rescued from overturned fishing vessel near Cape Elizabeth, Wash.

SEATTLE — The Coast Guard rescued two fishermen who fell from an overturned fishing vessel near Cape Elizabeth, Wash., Tuesday.

Coast Guard units in Port Angeles, Wash., and Astoria, Ore., recieved a mayday from the 31-foot fishing vessel, Renee Marie, at 7:20 p.m. An HH-60 helicopter crew from Air Station Astoria was immediately launched along with a 47-foot motor lifeboat crew from Station Quillayute River, Wash. Using directions provided by the Coast Guard’s Rescue 21 system, the helicopter crew was able to fly directly to the scene of the overturned vessel and rescue one unconscious man from the water. That man was taken to Aberdeen General Hospital in Aberdeen, Wash., while additional crews were launched to search for the second man.

Two Coast Guard HH-60 helicopter crews from Air Station Astoria, Ore., two 47-foot motor lifeboat crews from Stations Quillayute River and Grays Harbor, Wash., and two commercial fishing vessels searched the waters eight miles west of Cape Elizabeth for the second man who was found in a liferaft at 11:20 p.m. after a helicopter crew spotted a flare. One of the 47-foot motor lifeboat crews responded to the raft and transported the man to Grays Harbor.

“We might have been searching to find the boat for hours if it wasn’t for the Rescue 21 system,” said Petty Officer James Bayer, a watchstander at the Coast Guard command center in Seattle. “The system made a huge difference in our ability to respond to this case.”

Rescue 21 is an advanced maritime computing, command, control, and communications system designed to manage communications for the Coast Guard allowing for easier tracking of distress signals. The system covers 24,758 miles (39,844 km) of U.S. coastline.

The Renee Marie is homeported in Chinook, Wash.

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