The U.S. Coast Guard issued several citations to boat operators over a busy and often foggy weekend on the water.
A Coast Guard boat crew responding to a vessel aground in the Ilwaco (Wash.) Channel cited commercial fishing captain Matthew Donobick for operating a vessel while intoxicated.
The 40-foot tuna boat St. Kristine ran aground with two people and a load of fish aboard at about 9:40 p.m. Saturday. The Coast Guard team, from Station Cape Disappointment, removed Donobick and his crew member from the vessel that evening.
After allegedly spitting on some of the equipment, Donobick submitted to an alcohol breath test, reportedly blowing a 0.073. Although the legal blood alcohol level generally is 0.08, for commercial vessel operators the limit is 0.04, said Bob Coster, civilian search and rescue controller at Coast Guard Group Astoria today.
Coster said Donobrick's age and hometown were unknown. Based in Seattle and registered to St. Kristine Inc., the fishing vessel was refloated Sunday morning and towed in for repairs.
In an unrelated case, two people were cited for negligence after their 22-foot recreational boats collided near the Grays Harbor bar in Washington at about 7 a.m. Sunday. Despite heavy fog, neither used sound signals that would have alerted others of its presence, Coster said. Of five people aboard the two boats, only one person suffered an injury: a laceration on an arm. Both boats were reportedly damaged. They were escorted to shore.
Earlier in the weekend, Coast Guard crews rescued a 54-year-old woman suffering seizures while sailing with her family of six in the Pacific Ocean near the Columbia River.
The 40-foot sailing vessel Pilot called for help at about noon Saturday, when it became disabled in heavy fog; soon, the skipper radioed for help again, this time for his wife.
Coster said Sea Tow helped transfer Coast Guard personnel from a 47-foot motor lifeboat to the sailboat and then back to the rescue boat with the patient, who was unconscious. She was hoisted into an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Astoria and flown to the Coast Guard base in Warrenton, where she was taken by a Medix ambulance to Columbia Memorial Hospital. The woman, from Richland, Wash., had regained consciousness by the time she arrived at the air station, Coster said.