ILWACO, Wash. — The Coast Guard towed in a 58-foot fishing vessel carrying four people and 42,000 pounds of fish Sunday after the crew lost use of the main engine about 17 miles west of Willapa Bay.
A boat crew aboard the Triumph II, a 52-foot motor life boat from Station Cape Disappointment, met the crew of the 58-foot dragger Ashlyne and towed them across the Columbia River Bar into Astoria.
Towing the Ashlyne was estimated 70- to 80-mile round-trip, towing 110 tons on the way in.
“That would make it close to the max towing capacity of the 47-MLBs, which is 150 tons,” said Chief Petty Officer Bradd Beckett, executive officer, Station Cape Disappointment. “Being that close to the towing capacity made fuel consumption a concern.”
The large volume of water that moves out on an ebb tide across deeper bars such as the Columbia and the struggle to operate a 47-footer in that environment was also of concern. That same environment, however, has little effect on the operation of the 52-footer due to the nature of construction.
“Coming back, we would of had to wait for the ebb to pass if we used the 47-MLB,” Beckett said. “Using the 52-MLB eliminated all those concerns.”