Five Rescued Near Columbia River Entrance
The Coast Guard and a good Samaritan commercial fishing crew rescued five people from the water after the fishing vessel Star King, a 55-foot stern trawler homeported in Astoria, capsized and sank near the entrance to the Columbia River early Saturday morning.
All five fishermen were pulled from the water by the crew of the fishing vessel Sea Ballad and were transferred to the Coast Guard 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew, from Station Cape Disappointment, who transported them to the station in Ilwaco, Wash., where they did not need medical attention.
Watchstanders at the Sector Columbia River command center received the first mayday calls from the Star King via VHF-FM radio channel 16 at 4:31 a.m. All five fishermen were accounted for by 5:10 a.m. The fishing trawler's captain first reported they were taking on water and listing hard to starboard before suddenly capsizing and sending all five crewmembers into the water.
"The quick, selfless actions taken by the crew of the good Samaritan crab vessel Sea Ballad and the fact that the Star King's crew put on survival suits saved five lives today," said Chief Petty Officer Justin Urbano, command duty officer, Sector Columbia River. "The Coast Guard had a quick response, but these fishermen were out of the water before we arrived on scene."
The sunken Star King is not blocking navigation, but is a hazard to navigation and all mariners need to be on the lookout if they transit the area.
The Star King had approximately 300 gallons of fuel onboard when it sank. Personnel from Sector Columbia River Incident Management Division have been notified and will oversee the cleanup of the pollution threat.