Coast Guard responds to 60-foot vessel fire

ASTORIA, Ore. – Coast Guard crews responded to a boat fire approximately 10 miles from the coast of Long Beach, Wash., Monday.

Coast Guard Group/Air Station Astoria received a call at 4 p.m. from a crewman aboard the 60-foot fishing vessel Portlock reporting that the vessel was on fire.

The two crewmembers aboard Portlock were able to relay coordinates to a Coast Guard watchstander before abandoning ship into a liferaft.

The Coast Guard Cutter Active, homeported in Port Angeles, Wash., was eight miles from the burning vessel and was diverted to assist. Additionally, Air Station Astoria launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and Station Cape Disappointment, Wash., launched a 47-foot motor lifeboat crew to assist.

Once on scene, the Cutter Active launched a small boat crew to retrieve the two men from the liferaft. The two men were then transferred to the motor lifeboat and brought to Station Cape Disappointment.

The Portlock had approximately 400 gallons of diesel fuel and two propane tanks onboard. There were no reports of injuries.

The Captain of the Port of Portland, Ore., determined the best option was to sink the vessel before it drifted to shore and imposed a threat to the coastal environment. After consultation with the Environment Protection Agency and other federal and interested stakeholders, the order was given to sink the vessel. The crew of the Cutter Active sunk the vessel eight miles offshore.

Oceanographers at the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration have determined that any fuel residue from the wreck would drift seaward with minimal long-term impact.

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