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Florence couple, owners of Novelli's Crab & Seafood, die in crabbing accident

"Their personalities will forever leave a lasting impression on anyone who met them," the couple's daughter posted on the restaurant's Facebook page.
Credit: Novelli's Crab & Seafood Facebook page
Kyle and Amber Novelli

PORTLAND, Ore. — Kyle and Amber Novelli, the owners of a seafood restaurant in Florence, died Monday when a crabbing boat they were in sunk at Siuslaw River Bar.

One other person on the boat survived.

The couple owned and operated Novelli's Crab & Seafood, a restaurant on the docks in Florence that won the Chowder Festival in Florence the past three years, according to a GoFundMe page.

A message on the restaurant's Facebook page said the restaurant will be closed "for the foreseeable future."

"Sharing their love of crabbing was always their dream. Their personalities will forever leave a lasting impression on anyone who met them," the post said.

"We're gonna be closed until we get everything figured out. I'll keep everyone posted for when we'll open again. This place was my mom and Kyle's dream and we wont let it die with them," a separate post on the page said.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help with funeral and business expenses. According to the GoFundMe page, the couple had four children and three grandchildren.

The accident happened early Monday morning, shortly before 2 a.m. The Coast Guard received a distress call saying those on board were abandoning ship after it hit the south jetty in the Siuslaw River Bar and started to take on water.

Rescue crews were able to locate a man near the shoreline. He said two others were on the boat with him when it sank. By 7 a.m., rescue crews had found the bodies of Kyle and Amber Novelli.

The conditions included waves as high as 10 feet near the bar, according to the Coast Guard.

"We are reminded during these times, that the ocean is unforgiving, and can be a treacherous place to work and recreate," said Senior Chief Petty Officer Jay Nilles. "This highly unfortunate loss of two members of our close community deeply saddens all of us."