Friday, January 26, 2007

Three large waves this time . . .

It's not quite 4 weeks into the new year, this following reported episode just happened yesterday. Not exactly unexpected, but the story line is almost the same as those happened before, which makes it dreadful to think that this is at the present still something inescapable and to think that it's not really a matter of whether or not but when, where, and how often it might happen. It's always one or two unanticipated larger waves occur abruptly. Vessels with lengths in the 15 m to 20 m range in the nearshore area seemed to be most vulnerable. This time it's three larger waves -- three sisters?! This time it's a 58 ft commercial fishing boat along the Oregon Pacific coast with one life lost, according to this Bellingham Herald's report no longer available online (also see here or here or here.):

GARIBALDI, Ore. — Three large waves struck a 58-foot fishing boat just off the Pacific Coast, rolling it three times in an accident that killed one of four crew members and threw the vessel onto a jetty, the Coast Guard said Friday.

The three survivors from the Thursday night accident had hypothermia but were in good condition early Friday, said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Brian Fischer.

An injured 50-year-old fisherman went into cardiac arrest and died at a hospital after he was pulled off the boat by a rescue helicopter, Fischer said.

The 58-foot Starrigavan was trying to cross the bar of Tillamook Bay about 9:30 p.m. Thursday. A witness saw it list heavily and its lights go out, Fischer said.

A survivor reported the vessel was hit by three 20-foot waves and rolled three times, said Petty Officer Shawn Eggert of the Coast Guard.

The witness called 911, and at about the same time an emergency signal was transmitted from a safety device aboard the Starrigavan to the Coast Guard, Fischer said.

Eggert said the winds at the time were reported at about 17 miles an hour, waves at 11 feet. "It’s possible they were hit by rogue waves," he said.

Eggert said that at the time of the wreck, the bar was closed to recreational boaters and uninspected passenger vessels, but open to commercial fishing vessels such as the Starrigavan.

The vessel was on the rocks of the jetty Friday, and an environmental team was to inspect it before any attempts were made to get it off, Eggert said.

None of the crew members had been identified as of Friday morning. (Update: the lost fisherman has been identified to be 50 years old Kenneth Venard of New Port.)

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