From U.S. Coast Guard Warrant Officer Ornelas
The Coast Guard responded to a report of a grounded 15 foot boat near Idaho Point shortly after sunset. The owner of the vessel reported he “had run aground while traveling between Toledo and Newport. He said they needed help and that there were five children and two adults aboard.” The duty crew and Commanding Officer were returning from conducting a bar assessment aboard a 47’ Motor Lifeboat when the call for assistance was received. The crew quickly transferred to the 25’ Response Boat and responded with blankets and supplies to help the stranded vessel.
Without an exact location, the crew searched for the grounded vessel with spotlights while in cell phone contact with the boat owner. The vessel was located approximately 60 yards west of marker “14” near Idaho Point. “We located the vessel and made the determination it was safe to try to get as close as we could to it, so we could either remove the personnel from the vessel or provide blankets and supplies to the family on board,” stated Chief Warrant Officer Ornelas.
After maneuvering the Response Boat close to the mud flats, it was determined it was safe enough to put U.S. Coast Guard personnel off onto the flats and walk to the stranded vessel. With the temperature dropping to near freezing and the next high tide not being until after midnight, it was determined it was best to set an anchor and remove the personnel from the vessel. Petty Officers Michael Scrivner and Robert Hinkle along with Seaman Dexton Earl trekked across the mud flats and carried the five children back to the Response Boat where Seaman Asja Thomas checked their vitals and wrapped the children in blankets. The owner and another adult aboard walked the flats and boarded the vessel on their own.
The adults and children were transported to the Coast Guard station where further information was gathered. The owner and his family were released. “I was glad we were able to help them by getting them off the vessel and out of the frigid weather. They were not in adequate clothing for the temperature tonight and we couldn’t leave the children stranded out there,” stated Chief Warrant Officer Ornelas.