Coast Guard Assists Disabled Fishing Vessel

SEATTLE -- Crewmembers aboard two 47-foot Motor Life Boats from Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor, in Westport, Wash., and the Coast Guard Cutter Fir, a 225-foot seagoing buoy tender homeported in Astoria, Ore., assisted the disabled fishing vessel Lady Law, a 75-foot commercial fishing vessel, in the Pacific Ocean near Copalis Beach, Wash., Wednesday.

There were no reports of injuries or pollution.

"Having two MLBs conduct a tow of a vessel over the limitations of a single MLB was a great experience,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Ivan Bell, coxswain of MLB 47216. “Never have I had the opportunity to conduct such a task. The training and experience of the MLB crews met and exceeded my expectations."

Crewmembers aboard the vessel contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River, in Warrenton, Ore., notifying them that the vessel had a jammed rudder and was disabled and adrift in the Pacific Ocean about 10 miles from Copalis Beach, Wash.

“I have never worked in tandem with another MLB during a tow before,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Trey Biffle, coxswain of MLB 47239. “The constant communication between the two boats was paramount in successfully mooring a vessel well outside one 47's capabilities.”

The crew of the Fir, already underway, initially towed the vessel to Grays Harbor and transferred the tow to the Westport-based MLB crews. The vessel was safely towed to Westhaven Marina at 3:15 p.m.

"The successful tow of the F/V Lady Law was due to the outstanding team effort demonstrated by Sector Columbia River, CGC Fir, and Station Grays Harbor,” said Chief Warrant Officer Gary L. Clark, commanding officer of Station Grays Harbor. “All were instrumental in completing this mission. This case would have proven to be very difficult for the Station to complete on its own. I am extremely proud of the superior seamanship and boat handling skills demonstrated by my crew and equally impressed by the collaborative efforts of all involved."

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