F/V WHITE SWAN III sent out a mayday call around midnight on Saturday, March 26. The captain reported that his vessel was sinking in the Heceta Banks fishing area off the coast of Oregon. Only one other crewmember was aboard.
The U.S. Coast Guard dispatched a rescue helicopter from Newport, Oregon. At some point, the fishing vessel’s Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) deployed, providing the rescue chopper a location fix. On arrival, the Coast Guard crew found only a debris field and a life raft at the location.
Unfortunately, the helicopter was forced to return to shore due to fog and visibility concerns. But the search and rescue operation continued throughout the next day using Coast Guard cutter ORCAS, lifeboats, and aircraft. Sadly, the search located the body of the crewmember. The captain remains missing.
Homeported in Newport, Oregon, F/V WHITE SWAN III was a 32-foot albacore troller built in 1968.
Our thoughts are with those impacted by this tragic loss.
Commercial fishing remains one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, but the loss of life should never be excusable. The Jones Act and maritime law still mandate certain safety standards for the brave men and women who serve aboard commercial fishing vessels. If you lost a loved one in a fishing vessel sinking, you may be entitled to benefits under the law. Time is likely of the essence. Investigations move quickly and evidence may spoil over time. Call a maritime lawyer today to learn more: (253) 600-2531. Initial consultation is free and confidential.
Source: National Fisherman