Crewman missing after falling off Columbia River sternwheeler

The following is the text of two press releases issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:


(RAINIER, Ore.) — The Coast Guard is searching for a man who fell from the sternwheeler Queen of the West, Tuesday.

Crewmembers aboard the Queen of the West contacted Coast Guard Sector Columbia River at approximately 1:10 a.m. via Vhf channel 16 to report a male member of their crew had fallen from the stern of the vessel while the boat was moored at a dock in Ranier.  Witnesses saw the man surface once before losing sight of him.

A Coast Guard MH-60 helicopter crew from Air Station Astoria, Ore., and a 25-foot response boat crew from Station Portland, Ore., were dispatched to search for the man with the assistance of Columbia County marine assets.  Coast Guard investigators from Marine Safety Unit Portland have also been notified.


The subsequest press release:


(SEATTLE) — The Coast Guard suspended its search at 8:35 a.m. for the man who fell from the sternwheeler Queen of the West on the Columbia River near Ranier, Ore., Tuesday.

The Coast Guard, Columbia County marine assets, and the crew of the tug boat Maverick searched approximately 10 square miles for a combined six hours.

The Coast Guard suspends a search and rescue case with extremely great care and deliberation. Only after a probable search area is saturated with the appropriate number of assets and resources, as well as maximum crew effort, and persons in distress are still not located, a decision is made to suspend a case.

The Coast Guard can resume a search if credible information is received that persons reported missing have survived.

By Professional Mariner Staff