Coast Guard assists vessel taking on water

SEATTLE – Five people were transported from the 58-foot fishing vessel Miss Michelle to Westport, Wash., by a 41-foot motor lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor Monday.

One person was transported to Grays Harbor Community Hospital in Aberdeen, Wash.

A Coast Guard incident management team from Portland, Ore., is on-scene in Grays Harbor, along with a Washington Department of Ecology representative. The team is standing by to respond should the Miss Michelle sink or otherwise pose a hazard. Salvage equipment is enroute and boom has been staged in the area in case it is needed to protect environmentally sensitive sites inside the harbor. The Coast Guard is in contact with the owner’s insurance representatives, who are formulating a recovery plan.

Coast Guard investigators are working to determine the cause of the accident.

The vessel remains afloat and adrift just west of the entrance to Grays Harbor, with the bow awash.

The master, who is also the owner of the vessel, homeported in Westport, said that they were outbound for a sardine run when they experienced a loud thump and a jarring on the port side forward.

The vessel than began to take on water in its engine room, which is located in the vessel’s bow.

No debris or pollution is visible.

Ballard Dive and Salvage is enroute and will dive to ascertain the extent of the damage to the bow, patch the vessel and re-float.

A broadcast for a hazard to navigation was sounded warning mariners of the vessels location.

The vessel is located at 46-54.58N 124-10.28W.

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