U.S. Coast Guard crew members aboard three separate vessels rescued a 50-foot albacore tuna fishing vessel disabled 116 miles west of Newport, Ore., Wednesday.
The 41-ton vessel, Ruby Lily, which reported 6 tons of albacore tuna and three crew members aboard, was safely moored in Yaquina Bay Wednesday evening after a four-day operation, the USCG said in a press release.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River received notification at 4:35 p.m. Sunday from the crew of the Ruby Lily, who reported that the vessel’s rudder was stuck.
At 8 a.m. Monday, following essential preparations and fueling, the 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Orcas launched from Astoria. The Orcas’ crew arrived on scene at 6:07 p.m. and took the Ruby Lily into tow.
The strain of the stuck rudder caused the metal-wire-towing bridle to part. The crew of the Orcas used a back-up double-braided-nylon bridle to take the Ruby Lily into tow. That bridle then parted approximately 93 miles from the coast.
Due to the rudder's position, the crew had to trouble-shoot how to get the rudder amidships to effectively tow the vessel. There was a 600-gallon bait tank bolted over the lazarette that prevented access to work on the steering gear. The tank was unsafe to move in the current sea conditions. The crew of the Cutter Orcas waited on scene for backup.
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