Coast Guard tows crab boat back to Yaquina Bay


A Coast Guard motor lifeboat crew from Station Yaquina Bay in Newport responded to a report of a disabled commercial fishing vessel on Tuesday, Dec. 31, and safely towed the boat and crew to Yaquina Bay.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend received a report at 12:57 p.m. Tuesday that the 52-foot Pacific Cloud, with three people aboard and 2,500 pounds of crab, experienced a loss of power and were drifting toward the surf zone. 

A 47-foot motor lifeboat crew launched at 1:34 p.m. from Station Yaquina Bay, along with a crew aboard the 52-foot motor lifeboat Victory to serve as escort. A Coast Guard Air Station North Bend MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew initially diverted to monitor the Pacific Cloud until the Coast Guard boats arrived on the scene. 

The Coast Guard crew towed the Pacific Cloud for five hours, crossing the Yaquina Bay Bar and mooring the vessel safely at 6:50 p.m. 

Weather at the time of the tow on the Yaquina Bay Bar was 28- to 34-mph winds, with 14- to 15-foot steep swells and one mile of visibility. 

"Timing was everything on this tow, as the swells picked up right before we crossed the bar," said Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Cooklin, a surfman aboard the 47-foot motor lifeboat. "The greatest danger is when a break will happen; if the bar is breaking, we will not go through it. We train hard and build the confidence to respond to the cases and the challenging weather conditions in the Pacific Northwest to help mariners return home safe with their catch."

The three aboard the Pacific Cloud reported no injuries. 

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