Three Oregon commercial fishermen have been rescued from a sinking fishing boat 8 miles west of Cape Blanco, Oregon. The three crewmen were working aboard the 60 foot F/V McCalis when the vessel reportedly began taking on water through the fish hold. The crew issued a Channel 16 May Day call to the Coast Guard when their pumps could not keep up with the flooding; the radio call indicated the crew was abandoning ship into their life raft. Helicopters and coast guard cutters were dispatched in response to the May Day message. The crew were taken aboard the motor life boat with no reported injuries and transported to shore.
This near tragedy was prevented by the crew having proper safety equipment on board. However, the root cause of the sinking is unknown and will be investigated by the Coast Guard. It is important for all commercial fishing vessels to have proper high and low water alarms and check valves in their piping systems. Safety of the crews of commercial fishing vessels depends upon proper maintenance and repair of their vessels. The Coast Guard stresses that incidents such as this support the need for regular inspections of commercial fishing safety equipment.
Early news reports indicate the F/V McCalis has sunk. Photos of the trolling vessel indicate the vessel was most likely fishing for either salmon or tuna. The vessel was homeported in Charleston Oregon. Luckily weather conditions were reported as mild at the time of the incident.
The Coos Bay and Charleston fishing fleet has been hit with multiple tragedies this year including the sinking’s of the Eagle III and Sara Jo.