Charleston Fishing Families remembers lives lost at sea, gives back to community
CHARLESTON, Ore. -- It's been almost two years since the south coast was hit with multiple boating fatalities.
While remembering the lives that were lost, a non-profit group is giving back to the boating community.
In January of 2016, the Eagle III, a crabbing vessel, capsized at the mouth of Coos Bay, killing Joshua Paulus, Danny Matlock and Blain Steinmetz.
A week after the Eagle III went down, the Sara Jo capsized on the bar, killing Raymundo Cardoso.
Then, in March of 2016, the Patty AJ went down and Captain Jerry Barkley lost his life.
In the wake of those tragedies, the group known as Charleston Fishing Families formed.
"We were just a small Facebook group and we decided to put together a little fundraiser,” explains Charleston Fishing Families president Jackie Chambers. “It blew up very quickly and after the support we received from everyone--it was not just people in our community, but all over the United States--we decided that it was needed here so we became at an official 501(c)(3)."
Charleston Fishing Families offers a relief fund for those in the fishing community facing financial hardship or tragedy.
The group teamed up with the Charleston Fire Department for their second Christmas assistance program.
“Families can apply to get a basket from us,” says Chambers, “we provide each child in the home with gifts, stocking stuffers and the family with a holiday meal to get them through them through the holiday."
The group has more information on their Facebook page.