Rich Elstrom/Submitted Photo
Rex Amos/Submitted Photo
CANNON BEACH — The U.S. Coast Guard removed two mariners from a 40-foot sailboat before it took on water while in tow off the Oregon Coast near Tillamook Head Thursday.
Watchstanders with Sector Columbia River in Warrenton received word at 10:26 p.m. Wednesday from the crew of the El Corazon that the vessel had lost propulsion about 15 miles off the coast near Cannon Beach. The captain was reportedly extremely tired and seasick, and the first mate did not feel experienced enough to operate the vessel, which was being taken to Coos Bay on one engine.
The Coast Guard was on the phone with the first mate when the other engine died, fully disabling the vessel. A 47-foot motor lifeboat crew launched from Station Tillamook Bay in Garibaldi and sent a crew member aboard the El Corazon to prepare it for towing.
While en route to the Tillamook Bar, waves were breaking over the bow of the sailboat. The on-board bilge pumps were initially able to keep up, but by 4:48 a.m. Thursday were full of water. The Coast Guard deemed the vessel unsafe, removed the three people aboard and cut the tow line.
Weather on scene was 11- to 17-mph winds with 23-mph gusts and low visibility.
The two crew members from the sailing vessel were taken to emergency medical services at the station. One crew member was suffering from hypothermia, an injured shoulder and possible broken ribs.
Cannon Beach Police Chief Jason Schermerhorn reported this morning that the sailboat washed up just north of Cannon Beach.
The Coast Guard called in a hazardous materials team to address the fuel and any possible environmental issues.