Coast Guard crews aided a 67-year-old mariner after his CHB 45 trawler collided with an unknown object and sank nine miles off Leadbetter Point State Park, Washington, Friday. The next day a fuel sheen was visible at the site.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River were contacted over VHF channel 16 at 10:17 p.m. by the mariner, who advised he had struck an unknown object, and his 45-foot pleasure yacht Sea Crest was taking on water. He reported that during the collision he hit his head and may have lost consciousness, but was not sure for how long, and water was coming into the deck scuppers.
Documentation records list a local Sea Crest with CHB at the beginning of its HIN number.
The boat's operator was alone but well prepared. He abandoned ship into his 17-foot yacht tender with a life jacket, survival suit and flares. Shortly after he notified the watchstanders of this, he reportedly lost sight of the lights of the Sea Crest and heard sounds that indicated the vessel might have sunk
The man was safely hoisted up by the Coast Guard helicopter crew at 11:06 p.m. After landing back at the air station, he underwent medical examination, but declined further medical treatment.
A crew from Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor responded to the scene at 12:04 a.m. Saturday and towed the yacht tender back to the station.
A helicopter crew flew over the scene again Saturday morning and located the sunken vessel and spotted two sheens on the water. A buoy was used to mark the area and an alert was sent out about the potential navigation hazard.