WINCHESTER BAY — The U.S. Coast Guard and good Samaritans rescued six people from a boat which sank at the jetty point of the Umpqua River Bar on Friday morning.
Coast Guard Station Umpqua River crew members aboard a 47-foot motor life boat rescued four survivors, two separate good Samaritan vessels each pulled one person aboard and all survivors were transported to the pier for evaluation by awaiting emergency medical services.
At 5:40 a.m., Coast Guard watchstanders received a radio distress call from a 24-foot aluminum pleasure craft taking on water while trying to cross the river bar, according to a press release from the U.S. Coast Guard 13th District Pacific Northwest.
The vessel reportedly took a hard wave across the bow which broke the windshield and flooded the boat, leading to its sinking.
Five of the six survivors were able to don life jackets, while one clung to a type-1 throw-able flotation device.
Two pleasure vessels that were also crossing the bar turned back to render assistance.
They each acted to rescue a person from the 60-degree water, the release said.
Coast Guard crew members aboard the 47-foot MLB had just completed a morning bar report and were refueling at the pier when they were diverted to assist.
They arrived on scene seven minutes later and found three survivors still clinging to the good Samaritan vessel, unable to get aboard.
The survivor clinging to the type-1 flotation device was drifting away and unable to swim effectively while holding the device at the same time.
“We were most worried about recovering that survivor in time,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Aaron Hadden, the coxswain of the 47-foot MLB.
“When hypothermia takes over and a person loses consciousness, at least with a life jacket, their head would still be held above the water.”
The four survivors in the water were rescued by the Coast Guard crew members and were estimated to be in the water 10-minutes with no injuries reported.
“It was an ebbing tide and the waves were very choppy,” Hadden said. “It can get really dangerous out there and every boater should be wearing a lifejacket when crossing the bar.”
The vessel sank at the tip of the Umpqua River Jetty and is deemed unrecoverable at this time, according to the release.