Three commercial fishermen lost their lives Tuesday when the MARY B II capsized while crossing Oregon’s Yaquina Bay Bar. In heavy weather the Yaquina Bay bar is one of the most dangerous bars on the west coast. At the time of the incident sea conditions were reported to be 12-14 waves. News report indicate that the MARY B II had reportedly asked the Coast Guard for an escort across the bay. The vessel subsequently sank while crossing the bay. Attempts to rescue the crewman failed. One crewman was rescued by a good Samaritan vessel; however, he was unable to be revived. Two crewmen including the vessels captain washed ashore. Lost in the accident are Joshua Porter, James Lacey and Stephen Biernacki. The accident came following more than a month’s delay in the opening of the commercial crab season. Heavy winds and seas prevented many vessels from retrieving their pots on the first days of the season.
Further details relating to the capsizing are unavailable at this time. Commercial fishing in Oregon and Washington remains extremely dangerous for crewman battling high winds and large seas. Smaller vessels are at more risk during heavy weather conditions.