Coast Guard Announces Formal Investigation into FV Mary B II Capsizing at Oregon’s Yaquina Bay Bar

Yaquina Bay bar
A U.S. Coast Guard boat crew stares down a crashing wave at the Yaquina Bay Bar near Newport, Oregon. Photo: U.S. Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard is convening a formal marine casualty investigation into the loss of the fishing vessel Mary B II, which capsized off Newport, Oregon this month resulting in the loss of three lives.

On January 9, 2019, crew of the 42-foot fishing vessel, Mary B II, were attempting to cross the Yaquina Bay Bar during heavy weather when the vessel capsized with all three crewmembers on board. Following the incident, the Coast Guard reported that prior to the accident the crew of the vessel had requested a Coast Guard escort across the bar, but before the escort could reach them the fishing vessel capsized suddenly.

Rear Adm. David Throop, Coast Guard 13th District Commander, has now authorized the investigation pursuant to his authority contained in Title 46, United States Code, Section 6301.

The marine casualty investigation will be led by Cmdr. Karen Denny, the executive officer of Marine Safety Unit Portland. Denny, who has served in the Coast Guard for 18 years, has extensive experience in commercial fishing vessel safety and marine casualty investigations.

Upon completion of the investigation, Denny will issue a report of investigation with collected evidence, established facts and conclusions with possible safety recommendations to prevent future incidents.

The Mary B II had been crabbing for three days before attempting to return to port with their catch when the accident occurred.