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Small Coos Bay Vessel Cited for Violating Bar Restrictions - S. Oregon Coast

Published 04/27/23 at 6:22 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Small Coos Bay Vessel Cited for Violating Bar Restrictions - S. Oregon Coast

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(Astoria, Oregon) – The U.S. Coast Guard office in Astoria released a statement Wednesday that they issued a Notice of Violation to a recreational vessel this week, after the operator disregarded restrictions on crossing the Bar at Coos Bay. (Above Coos Bay, courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more)

Bar restrictions along Oregon coast bays are sometimes put in place at the discretion of the USCG due to inclement weather conditions or unruly seas, otherwise known as bar conditions. The Captain of the Port for the Coast Guard has jurisdiction over these situations and may even close the bar completely.

In this case, on Tuesday there were restrictions in place for any craft smaller than 36 feet in length. The citation happened at 12:07 p.m., and after the same operator was contacted and turned back the previous day during such conditions, the USCG said.

Coos Bay station watchstanders attempted to hail the 23-foot vessel on marine-band radio on Tuesday as it headed out, but it did not respond. Crews then launched a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat to make contact with the vessel and to conduct a safety inspection.

“The same boater was contacted Monday by station personnel who educated him on the dangers of Oregon coast bars and how to obtain Bar Restriction information after he was detected near the same restricted bar,” the USCG said.

Lt. Cmdr. Colin Fogarty, the Enforcement Chief at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River, said the Oregon coast is home to some of the most dangerous waters in the world. Such restrictions not only save the lives of the boat operators but also their passengers – as well as any who have to rescue them.

Courtesy USCG

The operator of the recreational boat was fined $3,000.

“The Coast Guard has no tolerance for knowingly crossing restricted bars. $3,000 is a lot of money to pay for a crab, but it’s cheaper than the life of a mariner or their passengers," Fogarty said.

Oregon coast and Washington coast mariners can check for bar restrictions by checking, listening to radio channel 1610 AM, or contacting the local Coast Guard station by phone or VHF-FM radio channel 16.

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Photos courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast

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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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