By Mark Edward Nero
A US Coast Guard boat crew rescued two men after their 14-foot boat ran aground and began taking on water near Desdemona Sands at the mouth of the Columbia River on Aug. 23.
A 29-foot response boat crew from Station Cape Disappointment in Ilwaco, Wash. pulled the two men from their sinking boat minutes before it capsized using an emergency heaving line and took them to Skipanon Marina in Warrenton, Oregon with no reported injuries.
The Coast Guard response originated when watch standers at Sector Columbia River received a 911 relay call at 1:12 p.m. from a concerned mariner saying a small Smoker Craft with two people on board had run aground and needed assistance.
The boat crew launched in response but had to maintain a 20 to 30-foot distance to avoid shoal water. The crew was able to rescue the men, who were wearing life jackets, by using the heaving line to pull the men through the water and onto the Response Boat-Small.
“Life jackets were an essential part of this rescue,” the coxswain for the case, Petty Officer First Class Mike McQuade, said. “If the men had not been wearing them, we probably would not have been able to save them before their boat sank.”
The weather at the time of the rescue was reported to be two-to four-foot waves and 15 mph winds, the USCG said.