Coast Guard rescues 6 National Guardsmen from capsized boat – Video included

ASTORIA, Ore. – The Coast Guard rescued six Oregon National Guardsmen from a capsized 32-foot vessel approximately two miles from the mouth of the Columbia River near Ilwaco, Wash.

Coast Guard Group/Air Station Astoria received a brief mayday call without a location at approximately 10 a.m. The call was received by the Coast Guard’s Rescue 21 communications tower on Megler Mountain, Wash. The Rescue 21 system provided rescuers with a single line of bearing from where the mayday call originated.

“In this case, an uncorrelated mayday, where the radio transmission does not include a position and nature of distress, the Rescue 21 communication system proved extremely valuable.” said Cmdr. Jeffery Kotson, Group/Air Station Astoria’s operations officer.

A 47-foot motor lifeboat crew from Station Cape Disappointment, Wash., and an MH-60J rescue helicopter crew from Group/Air Station Astoria were immediately sent to the area to assist. A watchstander in the Cape Disappointment observation tower spotted six persons waving while stranded on top of the overturned boat. A rescue swimmer was lowered from the rescue helicopter to help bring the six men safely off the vessel and over to the awaiting crew of the motor lifeboat.

The six men were transferred by motor lifeboat to Station Cape Disappointment to awaiting emergency medical services. There were no reports of injuries.

“This is a great example of military services looking out for each other,” said Capt. Stephan Bomar, a spokesman for the Oregon Military Department.

The six Oregon National Guardsmen were on a training mission when their boat capsized crossing the Columbia River at a location known as Peacock Spit. The cause of the capsizing is under investigation.

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