Astoria, Ore. - The U.S. Coast Guard rescued three men who were forced to abandon ship after their vessel caught fire Oct. 12.
Coast Guard Sector Columbia River in Warrenton, Ore., recieved a Mayday call from the crew of the fishing vessel Havana at approximately 6:00 a.m. The crew reported the vessel was burning 17 miles west of Cannon Beach, Ore., with three people on board.
An HH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Facility Newport, Ore., was dispatched to the scene along with a 47-foot motor lifeboat crew from Station Tillamook Bay. The three men were found in a life raft near the vessel and hoisted into the helicopter, which took them to Sector Columbia River. All three men were uninjured.
The 47-foot motor lifeboat crew remained on scene to monitor the burning vessel, and search for signs of pollution. The vessel was reported to have 900 gallons of diesel fuel and 50 gallons of hydraulic oil on board.
"The Havana's captain attended a safety drill conductor course in Newport last year," said Mr. Dan Hardin, 13th Coast Guard District Fishing Vessel Safety Coordinator. "What he learned during that course may very well have saved his crew's lives today."