The Fishing Vessel Two Mikes, out of Ilwaco, WA, ran aground on the north side of Newport’s north jetty late Sunday night. Shoved against the rocks by the waves, the boat’s bow was sliced open by a rock and the vessel immediately began taking on water, very fast. Both the captain and his crewman jumped to safety onto the jetty. A few waves later the boat separated from the jetty and sank in 15-20 feet of water where it’s been lashed back and forth by the waves ever since.
Both Captain Todd Holt and his crewman Shane Lague were escorted off the jetty at around 1am this morning. They were checked out at PCH and were found to be cold, but otherwise okay. Captain Holt told the Coast Guard that the cause of the accidental beaching on the jetty may have been caused by a faulty radar unit. He said they visually spotted the white beacon that flashes at the tip of the south jetty. He said the radar seemed to indicate that they were already in the channel between the south and north jetties. But they weren’t. So as they approached from the north they pulled a hard steer to port, which headed them straight into the rocks of the north jetty. Both Holt and Lague escaped but they lost their two dogs. Captain Holt said they had left Ilwaco Sunday morning at 5am, traveled all day down the coast and arrived off Newport shortly after 11pm.
In the meantime, diesel fuel has been leaking from the vessel. Although it is dissipating very rapidly, a sheen has been spotted drifting seaward from the wreck straight out to sea. As a precautionary action, the Coast Guard has placed a spill capture boom across part of the Yaquina Bay entrance. They say they have not spotted diesel inside the bay but that could change when the tide starts coming in this afternoon. However, the Coast Guard says it is unlikely that any contamination would make it as far upriver as the oyster beds on the Yaquina River.
The Coast Guard reports that their Portland Command is working with a salvage company that is already mobilizing to off-load what diesel may be still aboard the F/V Two Mikes. After that they’ll get busy salvaging the boat itself.