Coast Guard seeks public comment on waterways analysis study of Grays Harbor

 

Coast Guard officials are seeking public comment while conducting a waterways analysis and management system review of Grays Harbor.

Officials are seeking information from local mariners regarding the general use of the waterways and any issues with the visibility, placement or location of aids to navigation in that area before the comment deadline of Jan. 31, 2015.

This WAMS is the second combined WAMS and includes five old waterways: Grays Harbor Main Channel, Hoquiam Reach, North Bay, South Channel and South Bay.

Coast Guard officials use WAMS to validate the adequacy of the existing aids to navigation systems and to get a better understanding of the uses of each waterway and general safety issues. WAMS focuses on the waterway’s present ATON system, marine casualty information, port and harbor resources, changes in recreational and commercial marine vessel usage and future dredging and development projects.

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Coast Guard rescues two stranded boaters near Willapa Bay

A Coast Guard Air Station Astoria MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew rescued two stranded boaters near Willapa Bay, Wash., Saturday.

The 67-year-old man and 57-year-old woman were safely transported to an airfield in Raymond, Wash., where they were met by local emergency medical services for evaluation.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Columbia River command center received the call for assistance via Pacific County Dispatch late Saturday night after the boaters reported their 12-foot aluminum skiff was aground on a mud flat. The two individuals became stuck in the mud after leaving their vessel to attempt to walk to shore prompting another 911 call. The command center watchstanders dispatched the Jayhawk crew to respond. Once on scene they hoisted the boaters aboard and departed to Raymond.

“This case illustrates the importance of having hoist capable helicopters in the Pacific Northwest,” said Mark Dobney a command duty officer at Sector Columbia River. “With the professionalism of our highly trained helicopter crews, along with aircraft capabilities, we were able to get these two boaters the help they needed in a timely manner.”

US Coast Guard stresses Pacific Northwest boat safety following Labor Day rescue

The Coast Guard reminds boaters to make smart decisions while operating in the Pacific Northwest following the rescue of eight people from an overloaded vessel that capsized near Bainbridge Island over the Labor Day weekend.

“Between the overloading of the vessel, the lack of lifejackets and a water temperature of less than 60 degrees, they are lucky to be alive,” said Daniel Shipman, director of boating safety for the Coast Guard 13th District. “It doesn’t matter how strong a swimmer you are; the shock of cold water immersion can instantly impair your motor function. A lifejacket may be the only ting keeping you afloat.”

A Coast Guard Station Seattle 45-foot Response Boat — Medium crew and good Samaritan rescued seven adults, one child and a dog after their 12-foot skiff capsized in Eagle Harbor, Sunday.

Reportedly only the child was wearing a lifejacket and all eight people were in the water for at least 20 minutes prior to discovery by the good Samaritan. All the passengers were treated by EMS for mild hypothermia.

View the original press release about the rescue here: http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/2233162/

Click on the text below to hear and download audio clips of the good Samaritan’s mayday call:

Sean Meek, a good Samaritan, issues a mayday call via VHF-FM channel 16 to Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle to report a capsized vessel with multiple people in the water in Eagle Harbor near Bainbridge Island, Wash., Aug. 31, 2014.

Seven adults, a 4-year-old child and a dog were in the water for more than 20 minutes after their 12-foot skiff capsized before Meek and his daughter, Grace, heard their cries for help.

U.S. Coast Guard audio courtesy of Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound.

A watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle responds to a mayday call via VHF-FM channel 16 from Sean Meek, a good Samaritan reporting a capsized vessel with multiple people in the water in Eagle Harbor near Bainbridge Island, Wash., Aug. 31, 2014.

A 45-foot Response Boat — Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Seattle transferred the eight people and their dog to shore where they were treated by EMS for mild hypothermia.

U.S. Coast Guard audio courtesy of Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound.

Sean Meek, a good Samaritan, counts people in the water in Eagle Harbor near Bainbridge Island, Wash., while issuing a mayday call to watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle via VHF-FM channel 16, Aug. 31, 2014. 

Officials believe the overloading of a 12-foot skiff contributed to the eight people and a dog being thrown from the vessel after it capsized around sunset.

U.S. Coast Guard audio courtesy of Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound.



U.S. Coast Guard advises strong caution to beachgoers in the Pacific Northwest

Due to the recent number of fatalities the Coast Guard strongly cautions beachgoers to be aware of possible dangers to stay safe while enjoying the Oregon and Washington coasts.

During the past two months, the Coast Guard has responded to numerous reports of beachgoers swept out into the ocean along the Pacific Northwest coast. Since July 3, four of these cases have resulted in fatalities. These include a 10-year-old girl in Long Beach, Washington, July 3, a 53-year-old man in Seaside, Oregon, July 22, an 18-year-old man in Ocean Shores, Washington, July 26 and a 19-year-old man in Garibaldi, Oregon, Monday.

“In each instance, the people who got caught in the currents were visiting from out-of-town,” said Cmdr. Bill Gibbons, chief of response, Coast Guard Sector Columbia River. “Visitors are more likely to enter the water unaware of the unpredictable and extreme dangers posed by beach surf along the Pacific Northwest coast. In one instance, a victim was only in water up to his knees when he was knocked down by a wave and pulled out into the ocean.”

Beachgoers are reminded to always be aware of their surroundings. Water depths can change rapidly along the coastline and waves and rip currents can be very strong and unpredictable.

“The only way to avoid the risk is to avoid going in the water,” said Gibbons.  “At a minimum, people should never enter the water alone, children should never be allowed near the water unattended, and people who are near the edge of the surf line must be prepared for what many refer to as “sneaker waves” – disproportionately large and powerful coastal waves that can appear without warning.”

Additionally, since ocean temperatures in the Pacific Northwest remain around 55 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months, wet or dry suits are advisable during prolonged water exposure.

“Tragic experiences such as the ones over the last couple of months highlight the need for beachgoers to be fully aware of the dangers while enjoying their time along the coast,” said Capt. Daniel Travers, commander, Coast Guard Sector Columbia River. “Incidents like the aforementioned can be reduced by planning ahead, being aware of your surroundings and observing beach safety guidelines.”

For more information on general beach safety along the Pacific Northwest coast visit http://visittheoregoncoast.com/beach-safety/ and http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov.

man suffering from Hypothermia rescued after boat catches fire

The Coast Guard says it rescued a severely hypothermic man clinging to his partially submerged life raft off Washington state’s northwestern tip after his boat caught fire.

The man had been on the raft for nearly an hour Sunday when an agency helicopter hoisted him up around noon and transported him to a hospital. Petty Officer 3rd Class Katelyn Shearer says she didn’t know his condition, but he was able to walk into the facility.

The agency released a photo showing the 25-foot vessel engulfed in flames after its engine caught fire 3 miles north of Neah Bay. It’s not yet known what caused the fire on the boat, which split in half and sank.

The man sent a distress call around 11 a.m. but heavy fog hampered rescuers.

U.S. Coast Guard recovers boat of missing Canadian near Ocean Shores

The Coast Guard says a sailboat that was reported missing July 11 off of British Columbia was found capsized Thursday about five miles northwest of Ocean Shores.

There was no sign of 69-year-old Paul Clark, who sailed alone out of Prince Rupert, British Columbia, earlier in July on his way to Port Hardy, British Columbia.

A helicopter and Coast Guard vessels from Washington and Oregon searched for the Canadian for three hours without success.

The Coast Guard says a fishing vessel found his 16-foot sailboat. It’s being transferred to Canadian officials.

Clark was last seen in the vicinity of Aristazabal Island, about half-way through his planned trip. He was reported missing after he failed to check in with his family.

 

A U.S. Coast Guard boatcrew from Station Grays Harbor in Westport, Washington, recovered an unmanned boat about five miles northwest of Ocean Shores, Washington, Thursday.

The 16-foot non-motorized boat is believed to be that of Paul Clark, a 69-year-old Canadian citizen who left Prince Rupert, British Columbia, earlier this month on a solo sailing trip to Port Hardy, British Columbia. 

Clark was reported missing July 11 after he failed to check in with a family member. He was last seen in the vicinity of Aristazabal Island, British Columbia, about halfway to his intended destination.

The fishing vessel Tally Ho came across the capsized vessel and reported it to watchstanders at Station Grays Harbor around 7:30 a.m. Station crewmembers launched a 47-foot Motor Life Boat in response. 

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River watchstanders in Warrenton, Oregon, launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, Oregon, and diverted the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Blue Shark, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Everett, Washington, to assist. A Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife crew also responded.

The crews of the MLB and Blue Shark arrived on scene around 8:30 a.m. They overturned the vessel and found all oars and sails secured. Crewmembers found the identification of Paul Clark in the vessel.

Coast Guard boat and air crews searched the area for approximately three hours and found no signs of distress. The search was subsequently suspended pending any further information.

Coast Guard officials notified Joint Rescue Coordination Center Victoria, British Columbia, and are coordinating the transfer of the vessel to Canadian officials.

Washington’s Clean Boating Program wins $1.5 Million federal grant for waste pumpouts

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced a $1.5 million grant to the Washington State Parks Department’s Clean Vessel Act (CVA) Program, which works in partnership with Washington Sea Grant to help marinas install and operate septic pumpout stations, educate marina owners and boaters about the importance of clean water and proper onboard sewage disposal, and distribute free adapter kits that make pumping easier and cleaner. The grant is one in a $16.1 million package awarded competitively to 21 states’ CVA programs. Washington, which has one of most active and innovative CVA programs, received the fifth-highest award.

“Clean water is a fundamental need for both people and wildlife, and a perfect example of how the fates of both are intertwined,” USFWS Director Dan Ashe said in announcing the grants. “Clean Vessel Act grants not only help ensure that clean drinking water, sustainable ecosystems and healthy recreational areas are accessible to the American people, they also provide a substantial economic benefit for local communities.”

This year those benefits will be especially directed to the San Juan Islands, which have rich marine habitats, heavy boating activity, and limited pumpout facilities, as well as South Puget Sound, Hood Canal and Lake Washington, longtime boating and water-quality hotspots. Washington State Parks is currently seeking sources for the 25 percent match required under the grants to fund a second pumpout boat on Lake Washington and a free pumpout service in the San Juans.

Clean Vessel Act funds come from manufacturer excise taxes on fishing tackle, import duties on recreational boats and fishing gear, and motorboat and small engine fuel taxes. Last year, Washington’s Clean Vessel Program diverted more than 5.6 million gallons of raw sewage that would otherwise have contaminated state waters, threatening fish, shellfish, and human health.

Washington Sea Grant and its partners, including the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S Power Squadron, have delivered hands-free pumpout adapters to more than 7,000 boaters. Sea Grant has also created a Google map showing all 146 CVA pumpout locations in Washington, available at www.pumpoutwashington.org.

Boaters, yacht clubs and other organizations that would like free pumpout adapters should contact Aaron Barnett at (206) 616-8929 or aaronb5@uw.edu.

Missing 18-year old presumed drowned off of Ocean Shores

An 18-year old California man is missing and presumed drowned in the Ocean Shores surf over the weekend.

Sgt. David McManus with the Ocean Shores Police Department tells us at about 8 Saturday night, eight young people from a California youth group were playing in the surf near the beach approach at West Chance ala Mer.
The survivors described getting caught in a rip current and being pulled out through the surf and into deep water. Five of the subjects were able to get to shore with little trouble, while two others barely made it back to shore and were treated by paramedics on scene for exhaustion and possible ingestion of sea water.

After verifying that the family has been notified of the event, OSPD has identified the man as Renelle Paul Alimoren of Pomona, California. He reportedly helped two of his friends to shore before being swept out again by the rip current. He was last spotted in the surf at about 8:30pm Saturday night, about half a mile south of where he first entered the water.

The Ocean Shores Police and Fire Departments responded and attempted to locate Alimoren from the beach. The United States Coast Guard responded with a boat from Station Grays Harbor and a helicopter from Astoria. They searched the area for several hours, but were unable to locate him.

Traffic delays expected as WSDOT inspects damaged Riverside Bridge in Hoquiam

The Washington State Department of Transportation is inspecting damage to the Riverside Bridge in Hoquiam, after a 75 foot boat drifted into the structure earlier this morning. Sgt Mitchell with the Hoquiam Police Department tells us the Coast Guard was also contacted, and it appears no one was on board at the time. The owner was contacted and has removed the boat. Mitchell said it was dry docked nearby when the high tide pulled it from its moorage and into the North side of the bridge some time this morning.

Boat strikes Riverside Bridge in Hoquiam
WSDOT crews will likely need to raise the bridge this morning to inspect for damage. Mitchell said there is visible damage to the bridge and the boat, however the extent is not yet known.

Coast Guard medevacs sick crewman from commercial ship west of Grays Harbor

Coast Guard Air Station Astoria helicopter crew medevaced a sick crewmember from a commercial shipping vessel more than 50 miles west of Grays Harbor, Washington, Monday.

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River watchstanders received the request for the medevac of a crewman aboard the 780-foot commercial motor vessel Horizon Enterprise who was reportedly suffering from sever abdominal pain.

After consulting a Coast Guard flight surgeon, the watchstanders directed the launch of an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Astoria.

The crew arrived on scene with the Horizon Enterprise and safely hoisted the sick crewman from the vessel.

“This was a quick and very successful mission,” said Lt. Adriana Knies, helicopter pilot and aircraft commander for the mission. “The crew of the ship was very helpful in providing a clear location on board the ship for a safe hoist of the injured crewman.”

The crewman was then flown back to the air station where he was transferred to waiting emergency medical services. EMS transported the crewman to Columbia River Memorial Hospital.  The crewman was reported in stable condition.