The Coast Guard rescued 2 men, a woman and a dog found adrift in a life raft after their vessel sank Sunday afternoon approximately 45 miles off Lincoln City. At 2 p.m., watchstanders at Sector North Bend received a distress signal from an electronic position indicating radio beacon [EPIRB]. The beacon was registered to the 44-foot gray and blue commercial fishing vessel 'Royal.'
Coast Guard watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and dispatched a rescue crew from Air Facility Newport aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter. At approximately 4 p.m., the aircrew located a debris field and life raft approximately 6 miles from the beacon's last transmitted location. A rescue swimmer was deployed by free-fall and began recovering the survivors. The rescue swimmer assisted the individuals and dog with their safe hoist into the cabin of the helicopter. The last survivor was hoisted at 4:30 p.m.
The survivors were transported to awaiting friends and family at Air Facility Newport. They were in stable condition upon arrival and did not require medical attention. “They acted quickly and had the necessary equipment to survive an emergency like this,” said Lt. Robert Pfaff, pilot and flight commander during the rescue. “Their preparation and readiness for a worst case scenario saved their lives.” The Coast Guard encourages all mariners to have the proper safety equipment and training experience to operate it. Always ensure a reliable means of communication to call for help when needed, such as a fixed or portable VHF-radio.