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Memorial gets some much-needed protection

City crews installed a protective fence around the Triumph Memorial in Seafarers Park in Hammond. (Rick Newton)
Thursday, July 8, 2021

The memorial in Seafarers Park adjacent to Hammond Marina stands as a testament to those who lost their lives savings others.

So it’s been hard for some to see park visitors and some campers using it to dry their clothes or to prop up a cooler full of beer.

The Triumph Memorial honors the five U.S. Coast Guard members who died in 1961 while rescuing the fishing vessel Mermaid, which broke a rudder during a severe storm.

City leaders decided it was time to rescue the memorial.

Warrenton’s Public Works Department got a great deal on rope from the state surplus office in Salem, according to Operations Manager Kyle Sharpsteen. Pacific Power donated poles and city workers installed them this week.

“I just wanted to thank the Public Works people for completing the surround for the memorial at Seafarers Park,” Commissioner Rick Newton said. “It looks really good; way better than I thought it would.”

Initially, the monument stood at the location of the Point Triumph Condos, which overlooks the site of the tragedy. It was moved to the park and rededicated there in May 1991.

“In memory of the valiant crew of the Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat Triumph who, on the night of Jan. 12, 1961, during a severe storm, made the supreme sacrifice while assisting the fishing vessel Mermaid on Peacock Spit,” the memorial reads. Those who died: John L. Culp, John S. Hoban, Joseph E. Petrin, Ralph E. Mace, and Gordon Sussex.

There was one survivor on the Coast Guard lifeboat, Gordon Huggins. He’d been thrown ashore by a large wave and was found by rescuers. Two fishermen from the Mermaid also drowned.

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