Coast Guard: 2 missing, 1 dead, 1 OK after crab boat hits North Jetty at Coos Bay

A Coast Guard helicopter searches for missing crab boat crew members

COOS BAY, Ore. - One person survived, one person died and two people remain unaccounted for Wednesday after a crabbing boat hit the North Jetty and sank near the mouth of Coos Bay on Tuesday evening.

The Eagle III hit the jetty with 4 people on board, the US Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard heard the vessel's distress call from an electronic position at 8:30 p.m.

"The vessel has broken up with a large debris field congregating along the northside of North Jetty, with some debris migrating with the tide across the bar and into the river," said Cmdr. Robert Workman, operations officer, Air Station North Bend. "Our thoughts and prays go out to the families of the missing fishermen and the deceased."

The Coast Guard said the crew was from Port Orford. They were crabbing out of Charleston.

The ship's captain managed to get on the jetty and walked to shore. A passerby drove him to the Coast Guard station, the Coast Guard said.

A Coast Guard helicopter located one of the Eagle III's crew members dead on the jetty.

Two rescue boats and a helicopter worked through the night searching for two other missing crew members.

The Coast Guard is search a 4 mile by 5 mile area. That radius has slowly expanded as the currents carry debris out to sea and into the bay.

"A lot of times you see something and it might just be trash on the beach, but we investigate it and fly over it or get the boat closer and take a peek, just so we can rule it out," said Lt. Jesse Cremeans, a U.S. Coast Guard pilot. "A crab pot from that boat that made it up the river tells us that pieces from the boat are moving that far, so we should be looking in those areas as well. So any debris or wreckage from the boat that's moved from the initial scene helps us look for potential survivors."

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