High tide helps free boat stuck in mud

WARRENTON, Ore. - A fishing boat that ran aground in soft mud late Sunday night took advantage of a high tide late Monday to float free of the muck.

The 45-foot Michelle D ran aground at the entrance to the Skipanon River at Warrenton late Sunday night, coming to rest against some pilings.

The Coast Guard responded to the scene, but all three crew members managed to walk to shore.

The boat's owner and Coast Guard officials coordinated on a plan to refloat the boat.

Late Monday night, another fishing vessel towed the ship free of the mud to the Warrenton Marina.

The Coast Guard boarded the Michelle D and inspected for violations. They reported finding inoperable navigation lights on the port side, an expired EPIRB and a lack of proper required onboard documentation for the vessel.

However, no pollution and no structural damage resulted from the collision with the piling, the Coast Guard said.

The official cause of the grounding has not been determined, but the crew cited problmes with the vessel's steering components, the Coast Guard said.