TILLAMOOK COUNTY, Ore. — The U.S. Coast Guard announced Wednesday that a formal marine casualty investigation has been convened into the capsizing of a commercial fishing boat that left two people dead.
A 38-foot fishing boat capsized at about 4:40 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20 at the Tillamook Bay bar entrance, just a few miles south of Rockaway Beach. A representative for the Coast Guard said within about half an hour, rescue crews were able to retrieve all four people who were on board.
Two of the four people were unresponsive when they were pulled from the water. All four of them were taken to a hospital. The Coast Guard confirmed that two of the four crew members died.
The Coast Guard said its personnel was watching the vessel from a tower, at the fishing crew's request, as their boat crossed the bar to return to port. Then the Coast Guard dispatched rescue crews from a station in Garibaldi when the boat overturned.
"We had crews get on scene immediately via two small boats. And then we had a coast guard helicopter launch from Astoria," described Steve Strohmaier with USCG. "I know there were some restrictions on the bar crossing at that time, which is probably why the crew was concerned about the crossing."
Those restrictions were on recreational boats, not commercial vessels.
The Tillamook County Sheriff's Office assisted the Coast Guard with rescue efforts.
The public can provide information, ask questions and make comments related to the ongoing investigation and scheduled hearing at the following email address: D13WebManagers@uscg.mil