Bandon OR — A 64-foot wood and fiberglass fishing vessel, the Ann Kathleen out of Westport, Washington, caught fire while at sea Thursday, May 2, off the southern Oregon coast south of Bandon. The crew abandoned the vessel and were eventually rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard. No injuries were reported. The boat came aground in a remote area of beach north of Floras Lake at low tide late Thursday.
Debris from the boat, which is no longer actively burning, is resting on the beach as of Friday morning, May 3. A team from the U.S. Coast Guard, local fire department, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will evaluate the site for toxic materials and develop any necessary response plan to protect the beach and nearby shorebird nesting area. The area is designated for recovery of the western snowy plover.
State and federal officials are in contact with the ship owner and insurer. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will take lead on managing nontoxic debris on the beach. Questions about the offshore portion of the incident will be addressed by the U.S. Coast Guard (PA3 Trevor Lilburn, 206-391-5864).
While remote, beach hikers are advised to steer clear of the debris area. Pedestrians must stay on the wet sand within the plover nesting area (https://bit.ly/wsplover).