The Coast Guard was notified at about 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, that Newport-based F/V CHEVELLE had collided with the south side of the north jetty at the mouth of Yaquina River near Newport, Oregon, and that the crew was stranded. The weather was too rough for a sea rescue, so the four crewmembers were lifted by helicopter and set on the jetty, after which they were able to proceed to shore in good condition.
CHEVELLE has been grounded on the jetty with three- to four-thousand gallons of diesel fuel on board; a noticeable light sheen of fuel was being dispersed by strong seas. Action has been taken to protect natural areas in Yaquina Bay, if required, but pollution clean-up and vessel salvage will have to wait until the harsh weather breaks. In the meantime, there is concern that CHEVELLE may break in half in worsening weather, before salvage can begin. If any part of her sinks, she could pose a navigational hazard in the 45-foot channel.