Reports say that the F/V Nat was damaged sufficiently that it would be cost prohibitive to repair the old vessel. Last this afternoon, the owner of the vessel and crews were downloading the ship’s last remaining diesel fuel are were said to be planning to remove what electronic and other equipment the vessel still had a board before the vessel itself was to be dragged up onto the beach and then hauled away.
Early this evening with a D-7 Bulldozer at one end and an excavator at the other, the Nat was push-pulled away from the sea, which had been its home for over forty years, and toward the entrance to South Beach State Park, right off the jetty. Later tomorrow it’ll be loaded aboard a low boy flatbed and taken to a salvage yard where it will be picked clean of expensive navigational electronics, lighting systems, radar, and other upgrades.
As stated in a previous story, the Nat’s captain and crew missed the entrance to Yaquina Bay Saturday evening, by not figuring out that they were headed east along the south side of the South Jetty instead of heading up into Yaquina Bay. The vessel ran aground at around 6pm Saturday evening and endured an overnight pounding of rising waves. The crew jumped ship at around 8pm and were treated for mild hypothermia – the captain for sore ribs.
The vessel was hammered all night by waves which pushed the vessel from a spot about 200 yards off shore to a spot barely 100 feet from the shorebreak.
It’s the third vessel in three years to misjudge the entrance to Yaquina Bay. The recent sinks of The Two Mikes off the north jetty and a very large sailboat that did the same this last summer. The Coast Guard says there is a number of ways for captains and crew to know where they are with respect to what is called the “Jaws” of the jetties and safe passage into the bay. There are buoy alignments, light arrays along with ships radar, gps systems and physical and electronic charts. For some reason, the Nat went aground anyway. The Coast Guard is still investigating the events that led up to the mistaken course taken by the Nat.