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Jun-07-2009 14:11printcomments

Historic Navy PT Boat Prevented from Sinking at Rose Fest

The PT 658 is owned by Dick Lowe, a Portland resident, and normally moors at the Swan Island Navy Reserve dock in Portland.

restored PT Boat 658
In this photo released by the Coast Guard, the restored PT Boat 658 gets underway near the Coast Guard Cutters Henry Blake and Bluebell as a 25-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Portland patrols the Columbia River during the 2009 Portland Rose Festival, June 5, 2009. Four Coast Guard cutters including the buoy tenders Fir, Bluebell and Henry Blake and the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Tern, homeported in San Fransisco, offered tours to visitors to the festival. (Coast Guard Photo/PA2 Shawn Eggert)

(ASTORIA, Ore.) - Coast Guard officials say a restored Navy motor torpedo boat PT-658 was saved from sinking today after a multi-agency effort at the 2009 Portland Rose Festival in Portland, Oregon.

The crew of PT-658 had just returned to the dock after taking visitors on a short cruise when flooding was discovered aboard the vessel.

Shawn Eggert with the U.S. Coast Guard explains that all of the visitors were safely evacuated to shore while Commander Russ Proctor, Coast Guard Sector Portland Deputy Commander, who happened to be aboard the vessel for the cruise, coordinated damage control efforts.

Eggert says the crews of Coast Guard vessels attending the festival were able to get damage control equipment to the PT 658 while a damage control team from the Navy Destroyer Shoup arrived to assist with stopping the flooding.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary, Portland Fire Department and the crew of the sternwheeler Portland aided the vessel as well. Coast Guard Sector Portland sent marine inspectors to determine the extent of damage to the vessel.

The PT 658 is owned by Dick Lowe, a Portland resident, and normally moors at the Swan Island Navy Reserve dock in Portland.

It was built in 1944 and has been featured at the Portland Rose Festival for five years.

Motor torpedo boats like the PT-658 were used to fire torpedoes at larger ships during World War II earning their crews the nickname "The Mosquito Fleet."

More information about the PT-658 can be found at

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Dale A. Billups August 1, 2009 11:07 am (Pacific time)

Dick Lowe is the Treasurer of Save the PT Boat Inc. As Sara noted, the PT 658 belongs to the USN, Hq at Navy Yard Washington DC. The boat is on indefinite loan to our organization.

tdrag June 8, 2009 1:41 pm (Pacific time)

If you get a chance watch "They were Expendable" about PT boats in the Phillipines at the beginning of WWII. Those guys were extremely brave.

mebz June 8, 2009 12:47 pm (Pacific time)

sounds like the old days joint effort of diff uniforms working as team bravo zulu

xexon June 8, 2009 11:48 am (Pacific time)

This story reminded me of something else that happened on this date. The Israeli attack in the USS Liberty An excellent article by a vet can be found here: With friends like Israel, who needs enemies? x

Sara Gonzalez Wiedmaier June 8, 2009 10:07 am (Pacific time)

PT 658 is owned by the U.S. Navy Historic Naval Ships Association.

dbloomslm June 7, 2009 3:17 pm (Pacific time)

McHale's Navy?

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