Vessel capsizes; 4 aboard missing.Byline: LARRY BACON The Register-Guard
NEWPORT - Four Newport-area fishermen were missing and feared drowned Tuesday after their 40-foot commercial crab boat, the Nesika, capsized in rough seas as it was setting its gear a half-mile off Yaquina Head Yaquina Head is a spit of land jutting out into the Pacific Ocean north of the American city of Newport, Oregon. It is the site of the Yaquina Head Light, and is managed as Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. .
U.S. Coast Guard officials withheld the names of the crew as they notified relatives, but a spokesman said they were all local men, ages 20, 21, 34 and 40.
Another commercial boat, the Gary Lee, spotted the capsized vessel about 10:45 a.m. and immediately radioed for help. Crew members aboard the Gary Lee told the Coast Guard they saw two people in the water.
"But they weren't able to get to them, and nobody's had any sightings
Sightings was a paranormal-themed television program that was first broadcast as an hour special entitled "UFO Report: Sightings" in October 1991. since," said Coast Guard Lt. Peter Jones. The two men didn't appear to be wearing survival suits, officials said.
Three Coast Guard boats and a helicopter as well as two commercial crab boats searched without success all day. Two Coast Guard boats and a helicopter searched into the evening.
Jones said the Coast Guard received no distress call from the Nesika, which is owned by Bob Eder of Newport. Eder works as skipper skipper: see butterfly.
Any of some 3,000 lepidopteran species (family Hesperiidae) named for their fast (up to 20 mph, or 30 kph), darting flight. of a different crab boat, which helped in the search.
Soon after the Coast Guard arrived on the scene, a helicopter crew lowered a rescue swimmer ] produced by Tam Communications, working in association with the Discovery Channel. Along with covering the history and the demanding training rescue swimmers must complete, the specials also feature dramatic on-scene footage of several heroic rescues. into the water next to the boat.
"He banged on the hull to see if he could determine if anyone was trapped inside," Jones said. "He didn't receive any response."
Rescue swimmers aren't allowed to swim into the boat because they don't have any kind of underwater breathing apparatus, he said.
The boat was drifting into the surf in the Beverly Beach area north of Newport and was expected to come ashore during the night. Rescuers will search the hull as soon as possible to see if anyone is inside, said Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Blake Kilbourne.
The accident and probable loss of the Nesika crew shocked the close-knit fishing community.
"Every time this happens, there's just a tremendous outpouring of emotions," said Terry Thompson, a longtime long·time
Having existed or persisted for a long time: a longtime friend; a longtime resident of Detroit.
Adjective fisherman and former state legislator LEGISLATOR. One who makes laws.
2. In order to make good laws, it is necessary to understand those which are in force; the legislator ought therefore, to be thoroughly imbued with a knowledge of the laws of his country, their advantages and defects; to .
Fishermen's wives come together to provide strong support for the families of the missing, and the fishermen become a little more cautious, he said.
This year's crab season officially began Dec. 1, but the 325-boat Oregon fleet had stayed in port waiting to settle on a crab price with processors. They reached a settlement Monday and headed out Tuesday to place their baited crab pots.
Boats such as the Nesika often head to sea with hundreds of pots piled high on the deck, making the vessels more top heavy than usual and more vulnerable to big waves. The round steel-and-wire crab traps are usually 42 inches across and weigh up to 225 pounds.
Hauling the pots is "notoriously the most dangerous point in crab fishing," Thompson said.
The Coast Guard said the crab boats working the ocean outside Newport's Yaquina Bay Yaquina Bay (pronounced ya kwin na or, rarely, ya keen ah) is a small bay partially within Newport, Oregon, United States, located where the Yaquina River flows into the Pacific Ocean. Its area is about 8 km² (3.2 mi²). were in 10-foot seas and winds of nearly 35 mph. "It was sloppy slop·py
adj. slop·pi·er, slop·pi·est
1. Marked by a lack of neatness or order; untidy: a sloppy room.
2. this morning," Thompson said.
From his home overlooking the ocean, he saw the Nesika working, but said he didn't see it capsize, probably because of rain squalls that obscured the view. It was a sturdy boat used to hauling loads of crab pots with an experienced skipper, he said.
A rogue wave rogue wave
An unpredictable, abnormally large wave that occurs on a seemingly random basis in the oceans. , shifting deck load, mechanical problems - all could have led to the accident, Thompson said. The lack of a distress call indicates that the boat went down quickly.
The Coast Guard received a signal from the Nesika's emergency position indicator about 10 minutes after the Gary Lee reported the capsizing. The device is designed to activate when a vessel sinks.
Members of the crab fishing fleet are the most skilled and experienced sailors SAILORS. Seamen, mariners. Vide Mariners; Seamen; Shipping Articles. because they often face the most dangerous sea conditions, Thompson said.
They feel compelled to go to sea as often as possible at this time of year because more than 80 percent of the crabs Crabs
An informal or slang term for pubic lice.
Mentioned in: Lice Infestation
crabs Pubic lice, see there are caught in the first two months of the season. To compete with the larger boats, the smaller boats such as the Nesika sometimes take risks.
"It's a wild race," Thompson said. "We call it an Olympic-style fishery."
And too often, he said, it brings tragedy.
Just a year ago, another Newport crab boat, the Blue Heather, sank after hitting the jetty jetty: see coast protection. rocks while crossing the Yaquina Bay bar.
Two crew members were lost.
"I've been through a lot of these," Thompson said.