Coast Guard crews responded to a report of a disabled vessel and assisted local law enforcement personnel with the arrest of a mariner in Ilwaco, Friday.
After locating the disabled vessel and towing it to Station Cape Disappointment, Coast Guard personnel discovered safety and possible criminal violations aboard the mariner’s vessel during a post search and rescue boarding, prompting the involvement of both Wahkiakum and Pacific County Sheriff personnel resulting in the mariner’s arrest.
Sector Columbia River watchstanders diverted two 47-foot Motor Life Boat crews from another mission after receiving a report from the mariner stating that his 40-foot cabin cruiser, the Deano’s Dream, was disabled off of North Head Lighthouse around 11 a.m. He stated he believed a crab pot had fouled the propeller.
The crews arrived on scene, took the vessel in tow and returned to the station in Ilwaco. During the routine search and rescue boarding multiple safety violations were discovered, however, when the crew came across firearms and small quantities of methamphetamine, local law enforcement and Coast Guard Investigative Service personnel were called in for assistance.
A combined agency search of the vessel was conducted around 7:30 p.m., including the use of a Wahikiakum County sheriff canine unit, with nothing additional found. The mariner was then arrested and taken in by Pacific County sheriff’s personnel on drug and weapons charges.
“The Coast Guard values our partnerships with our local law enforcement agencies including the sharing of resources and expertise to perform our missions and serve the people of the Pacific Northwest,” said Petty Officer 1st Class John Bennett, the search and rescue controller at Sector Columbia River. “These joint efforts provide a level of effectiveness and mission flexibility in responding to dynamic and unique situations often faced by our crews.”