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1888 jetty re-establish YB inquires Vol. 761
far obtained by this work are: the partial straightening of the channel, and the reducing of the limits of its movements; and the deepening of the water from about 8 feet to about 12 feet at low water. The project for the improvement contemplates extending the south jetty 1000 feet or more, and the building of a north jetty, some 3,000 feet in length. To carry out these works, an appropriation of about $500,000 will be needed. At Cape Foulweather there is a light of the first order; and as this is distant from the Yaquina Bay entrance only about four and one-half miles, there can be no great necessity for a light at Yaquina Head, for vessels simply holding and offing. This is particularly the case, as outside the Yaquina entrance are submerged rocks and reefs, making it extremely dangerous for vessels to hold in, close to shore. At Foulweather, on the contrary, there is good water close in. The only object, then, for re-establishing the light at Yaquina Head would be to, assist vessels in making bar crossings at night. For this purpose a light on Yaquina Head would be of very little assistance. To enable vessels to cross at night with any degree of safety, it would be necessary to establish range lights, which would have to be shifted from time to time, depending upon the movements of the deep water channel. The limits within which this shifting of the channel now takes place are much narrowed by the improvement-works already completed; but it is not proba
Coast Guard District narrative histories 1945
Because of the difficulties experienced by Lifeboat Station crews in extinguishing certain buoys in rough seas and strong tidal currents during this blackout, it was decided that if the buoys could be approached against the current at a distance of 10 or 12 feet, and a switch operated with a blow or push of a pole from a small boat, the buoy light could then be extinguished quickly under reasonable sea conditions. (Such a switch was later designed and installed on the lighted buoys on the approach to the Columbia River Bar.) As a further result of this blackout operation, a revision was made of the Blackout Plan, especially in the system of notifying civilian keepers and attendants as difficulty had been encountered in reaching these persons by telephone in their homes.
On December 10, 1941, shortly after the lights in the Columbia River Entrance Area had been blacked out, a distress signal was received from the SS MAUNA ALA which had run aground near the Columbia River Entrance about four miles south of South Jetty on Clatsop Beach. The SS MAUNA ALA, bound for Honolulu, had been out six days, and, at the declaration of war, had started back for Seattle under orders. The Master of the MAUNA ALA was not aware that the blackout of navigational lights was in effect. The million dollar cargo of Christmas effects, as well as the vessel itself, was a total loss. Lifeboat crews from Point Adams Lifeboat Station and Cape Disappointment Lifeboat Station, as well as the CGC ONANDAGA, assisted in the removal of the crew and Master. No lives were lost and no injuries sustained. In the investigation which followed, it was determined that the Master was at fault.