Four rescued after boat sinks at mouth of Chetco River

Written by Triplicate Staff January 21, 2014 08:37 am
A U.S. Coast guard crew surrounds the sunken Jo Marie with a boom to contain any fuel that might leak from the commercial fishing vessel after it sank in the Chetco River channel Monday night.
A U.S. Coast guard crew surrounds the sunken Jo Marie with a boom to contain any fuel that might leak from the commercial fishing vessel after it sank in the Chetco River channel Monday night.
TThe U.S. Coast Guard rescued four fishermen Monday night after large waves hurtled the commercial fishing vessel Jo Marie into the jetty at the mouth of the Chetco River and sank it.

A dog on board the boat was still missing as of Tuesday morning.

At daybreak Tuesday, only the uppermost structure of the 62-foot, steel-hulled vessel could be seen above the water. A crowd gathered at the south jetty to watch as Coast Guard personnel and Port of Brookings Harbor employees surrounded the sunken vessel with a boom to contain any leaking fuel.

The vessel reportedly has a capacity of about 3,000 gallons of fuel, but by Tuesday morning there were no reports of pollution in the water. 

The channel, effectively blocked by the sunken boat, was closed to all boat traffic. There was no word on when or how the boat would be removed, authorities said.

At 8:16 p.m. Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard Chetco River Station received an emergency radio call from the captain of the Jo Marie, reporting the boat had collided with the jetty while crossing the bar in heavy surf and was sinking.

The Coast Guard launched its 47-foot motor lifeboat and a Dolphin helicopter was sent from the North Bend station.

The motor lifeboat crew was able to rescue all four crew members of the Jo Marie before it sank. There were no reports of major injuries. 

Coast Guard marine investigators from Coast Guard Sector Columbia River, in Warrenton, Ore., are investigating the incident.