Members of U.S. Coast Guard Group Astoria had a busy weekend assisting boaters from Grays Harbor to Garibaldi. They also rescued three hunters and joined an unsuccessful search for a 29-year-old Portland woman who fell from the Burnside Bridge early Saturday morning. A helicopter crew from Air Station Astoria searched for the woman all night, along with Portland law enforcement and fire department personnel. The search was suspended at 4:30 a.m. Saturday and the helicopter returned to Astoria.
The hunters, three men from Bellingham, Custer and Ferndale, Wash., had been on a deer-hunting expedition Sunday when their boat broke down and drifted onto Long Island in Willapa Bay, according to Mark Dobney, civilian search and rescue controller for Group Astoria. He said Air Station Astoria launched a helicopter around 5:30 p.m. after receiving a request for assistance from Pacific County, Wash., authorities. The helicopter landed on the island and picked up the hunters, then flew them to State Cape Disappointment, where they were picked up by friends.
The first of four additional calls for assistance to boaters came in Friday morning when the 36-foot crabber Terriann, out of Westport, Wash., broke down six miles off Grays Harbor after experiencing engine problems. A 47-foot motor lifeboat from Station Grays Harbor towed the vessel into Westport.
Just after midnight Saturday, the 46-foot crab boat Huntress became disabled just inside the entrance to Grays Harbor and a motor lifeboat was dispatched to assist it. Before the Coast Guard boat arrived, another fishing boat, the Holly H, threw a line to the Huntress and towed it into Westport. On Saturday afternoon, a crew from Station Tillamook Bay boarded a 20-foot pleasure craft and discovered it had a dead battery. The Coast Guard crew towed the boat into Garibaldi.
On Sunday afternoon, another 20-foot pleasure craft went hard aground inside Tillamook Bay and had to wait for a couple of hours for the tide to come in before it could be refloated. A 23-foot utility boat from Station Tillamook Bay stood by and then escorted the pleasure craft into the Garibaldi Marina.