The last remnant of the front half of the Fishing Vessel Chevelle sat starkly against the backdrop of the Yaquina Bay Bridge under which it had passed so many times, its crews in search of fish to feed their families and countless thousands other families at fish markets, restaurants and grocery stores around the Pacific Northwest. This piece will be removed today and the area cleaned up as it was prior to the salvage operation.
The Chevelle suffered a fatal blow March 11th when a sneaker wave rolled up behind it while entering the jaws of the Newport Jetties. Its load of crab pots shifted, throwing the vessel hard-left and into the inside rocks of the north jetty. All crewmen got off safely, but the Chevelle was too badly damaged to be saved. Within a day the relentless winter waves split it in two and sent it to the bottom.
The forward half of the Chevelle was floated to the surface last week and towed to Newport’s International Terminal where it was cut into scrap. The back half remains on the bottom somewhere between where the vessel went down and the mouth of the jaws. A NOAA ship said it spotted it using their big sonar blaster but the salvaging of it will have to wait until a more specific location can be determined.
The Chevelle was insured and was owned by Chevelle Fisheries, Inc., of Newport.