Coast Guard assists vessel taking on water

SEATTLE – The Coast Guard and Washington Department of Ecology (DOE) are responding to the report of a 58-foot fishing vessel taking on water near Grays Harbor, Wash., Monday.

At 6:45 a.m., Coast Guard Group/Air Astoria received a call from the fishing vessel Miss Michelle on VHF channel 16 reporting that the vessel was sinking and that the five people aboard abandoned ship to the vessel’s 22-foot work skiff. The five people were recovered by a Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor small boat and brought safely to shore.

The vessel has been reported to have the capacity to hold 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel.

The vessel is currently awash but afloat in vicinity of Buoy 9 near the south side of the entrance channel. The Captain of the Port, Portland has established a 100-yeard safety zone around the vessel.

Two 47-foot motor lifeboat crews from Station Grays harbor and an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Group/Air Station Astoria were deployed and are on scene along with the DOE.

A marine investigator and three incident responders are enroute from Sector Portland, to determine the cause of the incident and to stabilize the vessel. The Coast Guard has contracted with a pollution response organization and a salvage specialist, in the event they are needed.

Although no pollution has been reported, Coast and Ecology responders are preparing for any potential fuel spill.

Representatives from the US Department of Interior and the Washington Department of Ecology are also responding to the incident, and will form a unified command on scene.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor is located in Westport, Wash., near the mouth of Grays Harbor. Members of the unit perform search and rescue, ports, waterways and coastal security, law enforcement, aids to navigation support, and environmental protection.

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