The U.S. Coast Guard responded to two calls for help early this morning but neither resulted in a rescue, said Mark Dobney, civilian search and rescue controller at U.S. Coast Guard Group Astoria.

Air Station Astoria launched an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter around 1 a.m. to assist U.S. Coast Guard Sector Portland in a search for a 22-foot pleasure craft that did not dock when expected near the Bonneville Dam.

The helicopter changed course before arriving on scene when the Coast Guard received a call around 2 a.m., this one from the operator and owner of the 41-foot sailing vessel Renegade, which had run aground and was taking on water about 150 yards off the shore of Gearhart.

Dan Burum, of Scappoose, contacted the Coast Guard via VHF-FM radio to get help for himself and one passenger on board.

Dobney said the situation was "a higher priority" search-and-rescue mission for the agency, which keeps one crew and one helicopter ready at Air Station Astoria.

"We've got one situation where we don't know what's going on and we have to search," he said, "And the other, we know what's going on, and it's serious."

Gearhart fire and rescue teams assisted in the rescue and called the Coast Guard as the helicopter crew arrived on scene, reporting that the boat's passengers had jumped into the water and swam to shore. They were exhausted and wet, but they were safe.

The Renegade remains grounded near Gearhart. A 47-foot motor lifeboat sent from Station Cape Disappointment could not reach it, because the water was too shallow.

U.S. Coast Guard Sector Portland found the overdue pleasure craft Air Station Astoria initially set out to help. The woman on board was safe, but the boat had run aground in the Columbia River.


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