CAPE D - A 71-foot fishing vessel that began taking on water Sunday night while fishing in the Pacific Ocean 30 miles northwest of the mouth of the Columbia River was safely ashore in Warrenton Tuesday.

The captain of the FV George Allen, homeported in Garibaldi, Ore., called the U.S. Coast Guard for help at 9:34 p.m., to report the boat was taking on water from an unknown source at a rate of 15 to 20 gallons a minute, Bob Coster, civilian search and rescue coordinator for U.S.C.G. Group Astoria, said Tuesday. Coster said a helicopter crew from Air Station Astoria and a motor lifeboat from Station Cape Disappointment in Ilwaco were immediately sent to help.

Meanwhile, the three-person crew discovered the water was coming from a hole rotted through the boat's hull under the main engine. Coster said the crew took turns holding a rag in the hole with a stick as the motor lifeboat escorted the boat to a fish plant in Warrenton, where it began off-loading its groundfish catch at 3:15 a.m. Tuesday.

The fishing vessel is owned by George Allen Inc. of Garibaldi and was being operated by Robert Seitz of Chinook, Coster said. Once the catch is off-loaded, Coster expects the boat to be towed to Astoria Marine Construction Co. for repairs.

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