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for more information contact:
Les Soland
Vessel Assist Friday Harbor / A-1 Marine Services

Boat Sunk in Eagle Cove

At 11:30 pm on Monday,  August 6, 2006, the 32' Gillnetter “Virginia,” from Tacoma, issued a Mayday, saying she was sinking off Salmon Bank. The lone fisherman was taking water over the stern of his boat, with his net out, and the pumps were not working. The fisherman decided to abandon his ship. There were three to four foot seas at the time.

In a matter of minutes the boat sank and the Coast Guard lost contact with the vessel. Vessel Assist Friday Harbor deployed two boats; “Vessel Assist Relief” with Capt. Les Soland aboard, and “Vessel Assist Remedy” with Capt. Richard Rodriguez aboard. Capt. Steve Partridge of Anacortes was visiting and decided to come along as a deckhand on “Vessel Assist Remedy”.

The tow boats made it to the search area off Salmon Bank in 30 minutes and started a search pattern. Soon after, a Coast Guard helicopter form Port Angeles arrived to join the search. Fortunately the fisherman had a survival suit with a strobe light. He managed to get his survival suit on in the water. The Coast Guard helicopter was able to spot the survivor and “Vessel Assist Remedy” was only one quarter mile away and picked him up. The fisherman had been in the water for about 60 minutes. Vessel Assist recommended Cape San Juan as the closest access for the EMT personnel to pick up the survivor.

On Tuesday morning local resident spoted what they thought was a dingy.  It turned out to be bow the "Virginia,"  sunk  in Eagle Cove.  A-1 Marine Services (Vessel Assist Friday Harbor,) went to Eagle Cove and coordinated efforts with, the Coast Guard, the San Juan County Sheriff, ISOA, and the Washington Department of Ecology. By the day's end the vessel had been secured and all vents sealed, preserving the environment. On Wednesday A-1 Marine Services along Jen Jay Diving and Mainstay Marine raised the “Virginia,” and towed her the Jensen's Shipyard for haulout.