Imagine being the watchstander and receiving this call at 00:15. While listening, take note of the information passed and requested by Group Port Angeles and Station Quillayute River.
At what point does the Coast Guard ask for the GALE RUNNER’s position? Upon hearing, “We are at the entrance right now,” how long do you estimate it would take the sailboat to safely cross the bar? Where did the Coast Guard think the GALE RUNNER was? How would the situation have been different if the Coast Guard had told the GALE RUNNER to standby offshore and not attempt to cross the bar until they had more information?
Pay attention to when the sailboat begins passing its position (video: 9:49). Ms. Marcia Infante is cut off mid-sentence by the wave that capsizes and dismasts the GALE RUNNER.
Click here for an audio-only recording.
Noble, Dennis L. The Rescue of the Gale Runner. University Press of Florida, 2002.
CDR Hasselbalch, James M. Investigation into the Capsizing and Subsequent Loss of MLB 44363 and the Death of Three Coast Guard Members That Occurred at Coast Guard Station Quillayute River on 12 FEB 1997. March, 1997 (including reviews by RADM J. David Spade and ADM Robert E. Kramek).
Interviews with active duty and retired members, grades E-5 to O-6: Surfmen, investigation members, Officers-in-Charge, and Commanding Officers