PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A crabbing boat collided with a jetty on the Oregon coast, killing one fisherman and triggering a search for two others, the U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday. A fourth man aboard, the vessel’s captain, survived.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg said the commercial fishing boat sank at about 9 p.m. Tuesday. The Coast Guard dispatched helicopters and boats and found one body early Wednesday.
The search continued into Wednesday afternoon and was suspended around 4 p.m. after crews completed a search of the crash site area without finding either missing man, Klingenberg said. The Coast Guard could relaunch the search if new developments arise in the case, he said.
The 40-foot vessel broke apart, leaving a large debris field, said Cmdr. Robert Workman, operations officer for Air Station North Bend.
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The boat, identified as the Eagle III, was based in Port Orford, near the California state line. Officials have not released the names of the crew.
“It deeply affects everyone because we’re so small and sends shock waves throughout the community,” Port of Port Orford manager Steve Courtier told The World newspaper of Coos Bay. “It makes you realize the dangers these guys face to go out and make a living for their families.”
Klingenberg said the wind was blowing at more than 30 mph when an emergency beacon alerted the Coast Guard of a boat in distress. Swells were 8 to 10 feet.
The captain washed ashore, and a good Samaritan took him to Air Station North Bend. The Coast Guard said it had no reports that he needed to go to a hospital.
Commercial fishing regularly ranks as one of the nation’s most dangerous jobs. The Discovery network series, “Deadliest Catch,” which highlights the dangers of fishing in Alaska, announced last month it was going to launch a spinoff in Oregon. The program will focus on the Dungeness crab fishing industry in a village about 100 miles north of Coos Bay.
Associated Press writer Lisa Baumann in Seattle contributed to this report.