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Two couples and two dogs set out late Tuesday afternoon for a pleasant ocean jaunt up and down Waldport’s Bayshore in their 24 foot cabin cruiser. But suddenly things went sideways for the mariners when their steering broke and the motor quit running.
Boat owner Jim Loop worked on the problems for quite a while, but soon it got dark except for the brilliant overhead starry night sky. One of the women aboard called 9-1-1 on her cell phone to report that they were dead in the water somewhere near “The Jaws” where the Alsea River in Waldport meets the ocean.
Search and rescue units on the beach and in the water raced around the area trying detect any sign of the boat which by then was reported to be drifting dangerously close to the mouth of “The Jaws” due to no power and no steerage. And the caller said the boat was taking waves broadside.
By talking directly to the woman on the phone and then running emergency lights and flashlights at different intervals up and down the Bayshore Beach and asking her which direction they could see them and how far away, rescuers aboard a Central Coast Fire rescue craft were able to dead-reckon the boat’s location. Right about then was when the boat’s owner managed to get a little something out of his motor and was able to get closer in to be seen which was still hard because his navigation lights were still not working. But Central Coast rescuers spotted them, threw them a tow line and soon had them delivered to the Alsea Port Docks. Everyone was fine, right down to the two dogs that were also aboard.