Two boaters saved, another dies when boat capsizes off of Willapa Bay
The Coast Guard rescued two boaters Wednesday, as their boat capsized near Ledbetter Point at the entrance to Willapa Bay.
Coast Guard Sector Columbia River received a report on Tuesday evening from a family member saying the boaters typically return around 9 pm and were overdue. The boaters left Tokeland without a plan but were reported to be fishing within 15 miles of the shore.
The Coast Guard launched two lifeboat crews from the Grays Harbor and Cape Disappointment stations as well as a helicopter crew from Astoria for the search effort. In addition, both stations provided beach search parties.
Just after 7am Wednesday the helicopter crew located the two boaters and transferred them to EMS in Tokeland. A third member did not survive the accident.
The Jayhawk crew returned to the vessel to recover the body of the other member who was transferred to awaiting EMS in Tokeland. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is working to recover the vessel.
“This incident serves to emphasize the critical need to be prepared for disaster to strike unexpectedly at any time” said Capt. Bruce Jones, Coast Guard Sector Columbia River Commander.