Fishing trawler sinks near Columbia River entrance, 5 saved

  • Mon Jan 9th, 2017 5:56pm
  • News

Allan Brettman

The Oregonian

The Coast Guard and a good Samaritan commercial fishing crew rescued five people 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, from Station Cape Disappointment. The Coast Guard vessel brought the fishermen to the station in Ilwaco, Washington, where they did not need medical attention.

The Coast Guard received the Star King’s first mayday calls at 4:31 a.m., according to a news release. The fishing trawler’s captain reported they were taking on water and listing hard to starboard before capsizing and sending the crew 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,” Chief Petty Officer Justin Urbano, command duty officer, Sector Columbia River, said in a news release. “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 a navigation hazard, the news release says, and boaters in the area should be on the lookout. However, the Star King is not blocking navigation.

The Star King had approximately 300 gallons of fuel when it sank. The Coast Guard’s Incident Management Division will oversee the cleanup of the pollution threat, the news release says.