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NEWPORT, Ore. - A fishing boat capsized late Tuesday night in a treacherous area off the Oregon coast, killing the three fishermen on board.
The accident happened, according to news reports, as the U.S. Coast Guard was escorting the Mary B. II into port across a dangerous section of water off Newport, Oregon, known as the Yaquina Bay Bar, an area where the Yaquina River currents mix with Pacific Ocean currents.
#USCG to investigate capsizing of commercial fishing vessel Mary B II on the Yaquina Bay Bar in Newport, Ore., which lead to the death of 3 fishermen. Vessel sank under its own power while being escorted by a Coast Guard boat crew. https://t.co/p0LCjSkeA2 pic.twitter.com/umZWIIFxFr— USCGPacificNorthwest (@USCGPacificNW) January 10, 2019
The fishermen, identified as James Lacey, 48; Joshua Porter, 50; and the boat’s captain, Stephen Biernacki, 50, had been crabbing for three days when they requested an escort as they tried to make it back in, according to Oregon Live.
Coast Guard crews faced 12-to 14-foot waves as they tried to rescue the crew after the boat capsized, The Associated Press reported.
They managed to pull one of the men in, but not soon enough to save him. A second fisherman’s body was later found on shore. Biernacki’s body was found in the hull of the boat after it washed up on a jetty.
An investigation is underway.
Correction: A previous version of this story said the Mary B. II was featured on the Discovery Channel’s reality TV show “Deadliest Catch,” but a spokeswoman for the network told The New York Post that was not the case.
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