COOS BAY, OR (KPTV) – In an incredible rescue, caught on camera, three fishermen were saved from their capsized boat on the southern Oregon coast Tuesday night.

The crew was trapped in the engine room for about an hour with water up to their chins at times. That is, until a team of firefighters got them out.

It was just before 7 p.m. Tuesday when a Coast Guard aircrew out training happened to spot a capsized fishing boat near Coos Bay.

They called in Hauser and North Bay firefighters, all four of them volunteers, to check things out from the ground.

Hauser Fire Capt. Lawrence Van Hoof said things were looking grim, especially when they saw an empty survival suit on shore and no footprints.

“At the time when we’ve seen the dry suit, it was like we know that we’re in recovery mode and then when we came up upon this vessel and all of the sudden we’re hearing one voice, then we hear two, and the four of us are like going, ‘We’ve got survivors’ and so it’s crazy,” Van Hoof said.

They wasted no time, with saws and rescue ropes.

Van Hoof said the fishermen were trapped in the engine room with water up to their chins when the tide would come in.

The firefighters were able to saw through the fiberglass hull and got all three men out safely.

“There’s three guys that got to go home to their families,” Van Hoof said. “Someone above us was definitely looking over for these guys and just, you know, it was just one of them things… it’s probably one of my top five rescues in my career. It’s not very often that you see survivals like this.”

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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(1) comment

Frederick Fukov

Close you eyes and put yourselves in the shoes of those three guys in the engine room with water up to their chins. I hope they never put themselves or anyone else in harms way like that again. Can't imagine anyone going out on the ocean this time of year, with the storm patterns we're in. Then again, I'm not a fisherman.

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