U.S. Coast Guard photo.
Coast Guard Sector Columbia River in Warrenton received a report at 4 am from the crew of the 40-foot F/V Miss Elora that two people were on board and that the vessel ran aground just off shore. The Coast Guard launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Astoria, Ore., and a 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Station Gray’s Harbor.
The response crews were called off after the two fisherman were able to make it ashore safely in a dinghy. The vessel eventually became beached at Westhaven State Park Beach, near the mouth of Gray’s Harbor.
The Coast Guard and Department of Ecology began working with contractors to have the diesel fuel removed from the vessel, but the vessel’s rapid deterioration by the heavy surf made it impossible.
No word on what caused the chain of events that ended on the beach.
The vessel owner was able to recover approximately 100 gallons of diesel; however, approximately 250 gallons of diesel were leaked into the water and have been deemed unrecoverable due to the heavy surf conditions.
The Washington State Parks Department is currently working with the vessel owner to recover the debris on the beach.