Updated: One dead, two missing after fishing boat capsizes off Coos Bay
COOS BAY — The captain of a boat that capsized near the entrance to Coos Bay was able to make it to shore, while one fisherman died and two more were missing, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg said the commercial fishing vessel overturned at about 9 p.m. Tuesday. He said the captain washed ashore and a good Samaritan took him to Air Station North Bend. His name and condition were not available.
"We just know that he was alive," Klingenberg said.
The Coast Guard dispatched helicopter and boat crews, and found one body. Capt. Michael Trimpert, commander of the Coast Guard Sector North Bend, said the agency will saturate the search area in an effort to find the missing fishermen.
Klingenberg said the wind was blowing at more than 30 mph when an emergency beacon alerted the Coast Guard of a boat in distress. The seas were 8 to 10 feet.
The World newspaper in Coos Bay reported the boat was the Eagle III, based out of Port Orford, and that it had been crabbing near Charleston.
According to The World, the vessel is registered to Leesa Cobb of Port Orford, and is owned by her husband, Darrell Cobb, who died from cancer in September. Officials have not released the names of the crew, but Glenn Burkow is listed as the boat's captain.
The Eagle III is one of the older boats on the Port Orford dock, Port of Port Orford manager Steve Courtier told The World. It's a 40-foot fishing vessel, built in 1978 and weighing 18 gross tons.
"It deeply affects everyone because we're so small and sends shock waves throughout the community," Port of Port Orford manager Steve Courtier told The World newspaper of Coos Bay. "It makes you realize the dangers these guys face to go out and make a living for their families."
The World said initial reports said the boat capsized a mile outside the jetty, but new information indicated the boat had collided with the jetty.
Cremeans said Wednesday morning that the scope of the search had grown to a 4-mile by 6-mile rectangle on either side of the north jetty, where debris from the vessel has also been found, including wreckage of the pilot house.
The Coast Guard said in a news release that the debris field is congregating on the north side of the north jetty, "with some debris migrating with the tide across the bar and into the river."
Helicopter and motorlifeboat crews are on scene searching for the remaining fishermen, as well as spotters on land.
"We're throwing everything at it," Cremeans told The World.
Cremeans said that daytime visibility was an asset to searchers, as nighttime operations are constrained by the limitations of night vision goggles. The Coast Guard is using computer modeling to predict tide movements in an effort to determine where the debris "and potentially survivors" could have gone.
— from The Associated Press and The World