The Coast Guard rescued three fishermen and is currently searching for the master of a 52-foot fishing vessel after it reportedly took on water, capsized and subsequently sank 14 miles offshore of Quillayute River, Sunday.
A Coast Guard Station Quillayute River 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Blue Shark are searching for the master of the Sea Beast who remains missing.
“The Coast Guard is actively searching for the master of the Sea Beast near Quillayute River and anyone in the area with information about the case is asked to call the Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound command center on VHF-FM radio Channel 16 or at 206-217-6001,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Morales, an operations specialist at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound. “Fortunately the other three crewmembers were able to safely abandon ship and have been recovered in good condition.”
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River received the initial mayday call from the master of the Sea Beast at 3 a.m., reporting the vessel was taking on water and they could not keep up with the flooding. The watchstanders instructed the fishermen to don survival suits and prepare to abandon ship into their life raft.
Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound Watchstanders assumed the case from Sector Columbia River and also directed the launch of Coast Guard Dolphin and MLB crews and diverted the Blue Shark to the scene. Three crewmen successfully abandoned ship and the vessel reportedly capsized with the master still aboard. The MLB crew rescued the three fishermen from the life raft and safely transported them to the pier in Quillayute River.
The incident occurred in the Olympic Marine Sanctuary and the Washington Department of Ecology has been notified. The Sea Beast can reportedly carry a maximum of 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel in its tanks, but no pollution has been reported at this time. The sunken vessel is not reported to be a hazard to navigation at this time. The incident is under investigation.
Weather on scene at the time of the sinking was reportedly 5 to 10 mph winds and 4-foot seas. The Sea Beast is reportedly homeported in Neah Bay.