Today we commemorate those lost in a tragic USCG rescue incident that happened 51 years ago yesterday, in 1961, right here on the Columbia River Bar. It started with a fishing boat in trouble on the bar, and ended with several Coast Guard vessels lost along with five coastguardsmen, and a fishing boat lost and two fishermen dead. One motor lifeboat crewman from one of the lost vessels miraculously lived.

In this first of a two part series, we remember the sinking of the USCG motorlifeboat Triumph and the other vessels involved in the rescue attempt of the crab boat Mermaid on Jan 12, 1961.

A reminder that the lower Columbia can be a formidable foe for mariners, no matter how skilled and prepared they may be.