The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:
(WARRENTON, Ore.) — The U.S. Coast Guard captain of the port, Sector Columbia River, who has oversight for all navigable waters in Oregon, established a temporary safety zone surrounding the entrance to Coos Bay on Thursday.
The temporary safety zone is in effect to protect personnel, vessels and the marine environment from potential hazards during recovery efforts of the fishing vessel Patty AJ and will remain in effect until the hull of the Patty AJ is no longer deemed a hazard or threat to safe navigation.
All vessels requesting to transit through the area in Coos Bay are required to obtain permission from the captain of the port’s representative via VHF-FM Channel 16.
“Our foremost concern is to ensure the safety of all mariners transiting through the area and the responders involved in salvage efforts,” said Capt. Dan Travers, captain of the port, Sector Columbia River. “Any mariners on the water near the Coos Bay entrance should exercise extreme caution.”
The announcement comes two days after the fishing trawler Patty AJ capsized between the Coos Bay Bar jetties, with good Samaritans rescuing two crewmembers, and Coast Guard and local agency personnel conducting search operations in the vicinity. The captain of the port determined that potential hazards associated with the salvage operations present safety concerns for anyone within the safety zone.
The captain of the port, Sector Columbia River, has regulatory authority over all ports and navigable waterways in Oregon and southern Washington, to include the Coos Bay area.
For updated river entrance observations and closures, visit the NOAA Western U.S. Bar Observation site.