Search suspended for man who fell overboard at mouth of Columbia River

After searching through the night for approximately 7 hours, the Coast Guard suspended a search for a person in the water near the Columbia River entrance on the border of Oregon and Washington, Saturday.

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River, located in Astoria, received a call from the outbound 591-foot bulk carrier motor-vessel Matisse as it was headed out to sea, reporting a person from the vessel had fallen overboard near the Columbia River entrance wearing a yellow work helmet but no life jacket at approximately 12:50 a.m.

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Astoria and a 47-foot response boat crew from Station Cape Disappointment in Ilwaco, Wash. The crews arrived on scene and searched along with the crew of the Matisse and the crew of the Bar Pilot Vessel Columbia.

Crews continued a rigorous and thorough search throughout the night, recovering from the water a yellow work helmet and a life ring that had been thrown toward the person in the water by a Matisse crewmember.

At 7:30 a.m., the Coast Guard suspended the search for the person in the water.

The approximate conditions in the vicinity of the incident were 11-foot swells, 50 degrees Fahrenheit water and 45 degrees Fahrenheit air temperatures.

Seamen injured on the job are often entitled to recovery under the Jones Act, the doctrine of seaworthiness, and maintenance and cure. The surviving family members of seamen lost at sea may be entitled to recovery under the Jones Act, the Death On The High Seas Act, or state law for the wrongful death of their loved one.

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