Crewmember falls overboard into Colombia river near Rainier, OR

The Coast Guard suspended its search yesterday at 8:35 a.m. for the man who fell from the sternwheeler Queen of the West on the Columbia River near Rainier, Ore., Tuesday.

Crewmembers aboard the Queen of the West contacted Coast Guard Sector Columbia River at approximately 1:10 a.m. via Vhf channel 16 to report a male member of their crew had fallen from the stern of the vessel while the boat was moored at a dock in Rainier. Witnesses saw the man surface once before losing sight of him.

A Coast Guard MH-60 helicopter crew from Air Station Astoria, Ore., and a 25-foot response boat crew from Station Portland, Ore., were dispatched to search for the man with the assistance of Columbia County marine assets. Coast Guard investigators from Marine Safety Unit Portland have also been notified. The Coast Guard, Columbia County marine assets, and the crew of the tug boat Maverick searched approximately 10 square miles for a combined six hours before suspending the search.