Coast Guard rescues sailor in distress west of Columbia River entrance

Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment 47-Foot Motor Lifeboat file photo

Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment 47-Foot Motor Lifeboat file photo

WARRENTON, Ore. — The Coast Guard rescued a sailor Saturday evening after his sailing vessel started taking on water 10 miles west of the Columbia River entrance.

A boat crew aboard a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat from Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment helped dewater the vessel and towed it to safety.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River received the call for help at 5:03 p.m. via VHF-FM radio channel 16. The sailor reported his boat was taking on water and his bilge pumps weren’t keeping up with the incoming water while he was near buoy 1 on the Columbia River Bar.

The search mission coordinator at Sector Columbia River directed the launch of an aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and the boat crew aboard the 47-foot MLB. The vessel was 10 miles offshore and not at the reported position at 5:45 p.m. when the aircrew arrived on scene. The boat crew arrived 15 minutes later and transferred a dewatering pump onto the sailing vessel. The boat crew resolved the situation and hooked up a tow, while the aircrew returned to base.

The sailing vessel was towed into the Ilwaco Marina and the sailor didn’t need medical attention.

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