A Coast Guard 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew towed a disabled 52-foot commercial fishing vessel Tuesday night across the Yaquina Bay Bar approximately 2.5 miles northwest of Yachats, Oregon. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend received a report at 12:57 p.m. Tuesday that the 52-foot Pacific Cloud with three people aboard and 2,500 pounds of crab experienced a loss of power and were drifting toward the surf zone.
A Coast Guard Station Yaquina Bay 47-foot MLB crew launched at 1:34 p.m., along with a crew aboard the 52-foot Special Purpose Craft-Heavy Weather Victory to serve as escort. A Coast Guard Air Station North Bend MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew initially diverted to monitor the Pacific Cloud until the MLB crew arrived on scene. The MLB crew towed the Pacific Cloud for five hours, crossed the Yaquina Bay Bar and moored the vessel safely in Yaquina Bay at 6:50 p.m.
Weather at the time of the tow on the Yaquina Bay Bar was 28 to 34-mph winds with 14 to 15-foot steep swells and 1 mile of visibility. "Timing was everything on this tow, as the swells picked up right before we crossed the bar," said Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Cooklin, Station Yaquina Bay, 47-footer MLB surfman. "The greatest danger is when a break will happen; if the bar is breaking we will not go through it. We train hard and build the confidence to respond to the cases and the challenging weather conditions in the Pacific Northwest to help mariners return home safe with their catch."
The three aboard the Pacific Cloud reported no injuries.