Three dead after boat capsizes near Yaquina Bay

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter. Photo: U.S. Coast Guard

Three fisherman died after their boat capsized near Yaquina Bay in the Newport area, according to the Coast Guard. The boat was crossing the Yaquina Bar in high seas.

By Cody Mann

Due to the hazardous seas, the Coast Guard was called to escort the 42-foot Mary B II at around 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 8. As Coast Guard personnel arrived around 15 minutes later they found the vessel had capsized. The boat hit waves as high as 14 feet.

A Coast Guard spokesperson said one fisherman’s body was recovered from the water by a helicopter crew and another was washed ashore. The third fisherman’s body remained on the capsized boat. Oregon State Police was charged with recovering the final body, according to the Coast Guard spokesperson.

A press release from Oregon State Police (OSP) said James Lacey, 48, of South Toms River, New Jersey was recovered by helicopter and taken to Pacific Communities Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

OSP said Newport Fire Department personnel found the body of Joshua Porter, 50, of Toledo, Oregon on the beach in the Nye Beach area.

The Mary B II later ran aground on the north side of the beach near the Yaquina Bay Jetty. The skipper of the boat, Stephen Biernacki, 50, of Barnegat Township, New Jersey was found dead with the boat, according to OSP.

The Lincoln City News Guard contributed to this report