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1 Rescued from Capsized Boat on N. Oregon Coast's Columbia, Other Unresponsive

Published 06/12/23 at 6:41 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

1 Rescued from Capsized Boat on N. Oregon Coast's Columbia, Other Unresponsive

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(Astoria, Oregon) – The U.S. Coast Guard pulled an unresponsive person out of the water and rescued their companion who was clinging to a channel marker Sunday, after their boat capsized near Astoria on the north Oregon coast. (Above: shipping channels of the Columbia River / Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

A witness standing on the shoreline of the Columbia River called in the report at 2:25 p.m., according to the Coast Guard. The witness watched the boat capsize just east of Tongue Point and saw the two occupants hit the water.

Sometime before 3 p.m., Coast Guard Air Station Astoria sent out the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, while the Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment launched a 29-foot Response Boat-Small II and crew. They arrived about 3 p.m., finding one person stranded on top of the dayboard channel marker in the area.

A rescue swimmer was quickly deployed, grabbing the individual from the cold conditions and both were then pulled up into the helicopter.

The aircrew remained on the scene to look for the second person from the boat, searching for about another 20 minutes before discovering that individual floating in the river face-up and not moving. By this time, it was 3:22 p.m., meaning this person had been in the north Oregon coast river for about an hour.

Attempting to retrieve the individual proved impossible for the rescue boat due to shallow waters. When the rescue swimmer was again dropped into the Columbia, they found the person unresponsive and not breathing.

Courtesy USCG

The Coast Guard swimmer moved the individual through the water to the boatcrew, and then stayed onboard the craft to render cardiopulmonary resuscitation as it moved towards the East Mooring Basin in the north Oregon coast town. There, medical personnel were waiting but the person was still not responsive as Coast Guard crews left.

No announcement has been made on that person's condition, or if they survived or not..

According to the Astoria Coast Guard station, the other person that was stranded on top of the channel marker was transferred to Air Astoria Station and attended to by emergency medical staff. They are in stable condition, the Coast Guard said.

It is unknown what caused the boat to capsize, but the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership said there are still numerous hazards on this part of the north Oregon coast waterway, many of which can still occur this time of year. River tides can cause currents to speed up, and objects may be lurking just below the surface.

“Strong river flows combined with an outgoing tide can make for a fast moving river that can overwhelm even strong paddlers. Be especially careful paddling in these conditions as strong currents when combined with wind can create strong waves and whitecaps across the river.” MORE ASTORIA / COLUMBIA RIVER PHOTOS BELOW

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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