Patty AJ skipper recalls rescue

CHARLESTON, Ore. - Tonight we bring to you a first hand look at what happened out there on the water, off the Coos Bay coast Monday, as the fishing vessel "Randi" overturned and the "Patty AJ" was there to save the lives of two fishermen.

Captain Ron Silva of the Patty AJ and his crew were out dumping crab pots Monday, fighting what they called "not nice" weather.

Silva says there were 25 mile per hour winds, 6 foot seas with 3 to 4 foot wind chop.

In just seconds the crew noticed the Randi about a quarter of a mile away capsize.

Silva immediately sent out a mayday call and spun his vessel around to help.

"It was not a one man rescue. It was a team effort. Everybody on the boat. I have six guys on the boat and everybody was doing something to save the guys," explains Silva.

Silva was able to get his boat within two feet of the action, and in just about 10 minutes both of the fishermen in the water were on board the Patty AJ.

"My crew was awesome. They did what they were trained to do. I can't say enough about the Coast Guard drills, the classes we attend twice a year. They actually paid off. They taught us what to do. The crew just proceeded in what they knew," recalls Silva.

The crew kept a clam demeanor and were able to provide the men with warm clothes and allowed the Coast Guard to hoist one of the fisherman off their boat and take him to Bay Area Hospital.

Though it's clear the crew of the Patty AJ saved the lives of these two fishermen, Silva does not want to be known as hometown heroes.

"We got several comments that we were the heroes. We are not heroes. We were just there. It was our turn. It was heavy to lose a skipper," remarks Silva.

The search for the missing fisherman near the North Jetty has been suspended by the Coast Guard but they will continue to look out for debris and the missing fisherman during daily boat movement up and down the coast.

"It's a sad thing to lose a fellow fisherman, but it was a good thing we saved two lives," says Silva.

And this horrific incident reminds other vessels how important it is to run through practice drills before heading out.

"It kinda wakes everybody up again to what danger we do work with, and to take a safer step and your next steps. It can be turned into a positive thing even though our lose."
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