The commercial fishing vessel Mary B II capsized while crossing the bar at the entrance of Yaquina Bay in Newport, Oregon on Tuesday night, killing three fishermen on board.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the three fishermen were inbound crossing the Yaquina Bay Bar aboard the 42-foot Mary B II when the vessel capsized suddenly, tossing two of the fishermen overboard into the stormy Pacific Ocean with waves reported at 14 to 16 feet and occasionally over 20 feet.
The Coast Guard reported that prior to the capsizing, the crew of the Mary B II requested a Coast Guard escort across the bar. A boat crew aboard a 52-foot Motor Life Boat from Station Yaquina Bay went out to meet them, but 10:08 p.m., the fishing vessel capsized without warning while under its own power with the boat crew nearby.
“The Victory’s crew immediately began searching for the fishermen, and called for more support leading to another boat crew launching aboard a 47-foot MLB and an aircrew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Facility Newport arriving on scene,” the Coast Guard said.
The Newport Fire Department was also notified and sent responders to North Beach to conduct shore side searches.
The hull of the vessel was located by a Coast Guard aircrew near the North Jetty and approximately 100 yards offshore.
The Coast Guard aircrew also located the body of the first recovered victim at 11:30 p.m. and a second victim washed ashore where it was found by shoreside searchers. The third victim was spotted inside the hull of the vessel, however, bad weather prevented responders from retrieving the body until the following morning.
An Air Facility Newport aircrew conducted an overflight and reported no visible pollution, but lots of debris scattered around. Oregon State Park Rangers are in charge of gathering the debris from the fishing vessel.
The Coast Guard said the Mary B II had been crabbing for three days before attempting to return to port with their reported catch.
Media reports noted that the Mary B II was featured on an episode of “Deadliest Catch: Dungeon Cove”.
The U.S. Coast Guard said it is investigating the incident.