1 dead after boat capsizes in Columbia River

Credit: United States Coast Guard

1 dead after boat capsizes in Columbia River

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by Cornelius Swart, KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on June 20, 2014 at 5:50 PM

Updated Saturday, Jun 21 at 10:32 AM

ILWACO, Wash. -- A man is dead after a boat capsized at the mouth of the Columbia River Friday.

Around 9:23 a.m., witnesses aboard the vessel Teresa D reported seeing a 25-foot-long aluminum chartered fishing boat capsize as it tried to cross the Columbia River Bar. The Teresa D made its way over to the area and rescued five people, according to Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosely of the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard sent out three small boats from Cape Disappointment, a helicopter from the Astoria air station and the Coast Guard Cutter Fir to search for a sixth person.

When the Coast Guard arrived they found a man tangled amid debris from the wreckage. The man did not respond to CPR and was declared dead, Mosely said.

Rescuers, including retired Portland police Sgt. Lonn Sweeny (pictured left) and Portland police officer Randy Vanderhoof (right) saved five others and took them ashore. 

The rescued crews were approached by EMS but declined medical attention.

Rough sea conditions may have caused the boat to flip, according to the Coast Guard.

"The waves have gotten pretty bad out there," Mosely said.

He estimated that swells were around 8 to 10 feet at the Columbia River Bar Friday morning. By the afternoon the bar was off limits for any private vessel under 30 feet.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with the families and loved ones of those affected in today’s tragedy,” said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Bruce Jones.

[Below - Chief Petty Officer Joel M. Sayers, an aviation survival technician from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, Ore., is lowered from an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter onto the deck of a 47-foot Motor Life Boat outside the Columbia River Bar entrance, June 20. Video by US Coast Guard.]
 

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