Lincoln County Marine deputies were dispatched to a report of an overturned boat late Saturday at Waldport that threw both occupants into the chilly waters of Alsea Bay. Sheriff’s deputies say that both were rescued by nearby boaters and were brought safely to shore. The Coast Guard was dispatched and as they arrived they reported that the victims’ small fishing boat was being swept out to sea. The overturned 18 foot 1980 Northriver Sled, slipped beneath the waves and was lost.
Deputies reported that the boat was being operated by Scott Bowen, age 47, along with Scott Lepman, age 57, both of Albany. They were fishing for salmon at the mouth of Alsea Bay when they took a wave over their stern. The wave spun the boat around and then flipped it over. Both men were tossed into the bay. Bowen was wearing a USCG approved float jacket. Passenger Lepmen had a life jacket beside him that he was able to grab as the boat went over. It kept him afloat.
Fishing a short distance away were two boaters in a 19′ Northriver operated by Craig Worden with passenger Doug Burton. Worden and Burton witnessed the mishap and within minutes they were able to rescue both Bowen and Lepman. No injuries were reported and no enforcement action is anticipated, according to deputies.
Sheriff Dennis Dotson commended the quick action taken by Worden and Burton.
This is the second serious boating accident in Alsea Bay in the past two days. Friday afternoon John Vanderbeek, 69, was test driving a 20′ Zodiac that he lost control of, was tossed in the water, and then run over by the craft, killing him. He was not wearing a life jacket, according to witnesses. Authorities always urge boaters to be extremely careful on the water and to always wear a life jacket.