A Tacoma, Wash., man and his son were rescued Wednesday after their 30-foot sailing vessel ran aground near Desdemona Sands.

Robert Gross and his son were sailing on the Columbia River when they left the channel and were caught in shallow water as the tide receded.

At 7:44 a.m., Wednesday, a helicopter pilot with the Columbia River Bar Pilots Association called the Coast Guard to inform them that a sailing vessel with two people aboard had run aground.

To assist the stranded vessel, U.S. Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment launched a 23-foot utility boat and a 47-foot motor lifeboat. However, because of shallow water, both Coast Guard boats were unable to reach the sailboat.

Rescuers were also unable to contact Gross because he did not have a VHF-FM radio onboard. To establish communications an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria was launched and lowered a VHF-FM radio to Gross.

A good samaritan with a jet boat was able to reach the Seahawk and transported Gross, his son and family dog to Hammond.

A local salvage company has been contracted to re-float the boat at high tide, which should be Monday around noon.


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