Gordon Huggins

Gordon Huggins, left, is the lone survivor from the 52-foot motor lifeboat Triumph, which was lost 56 years ago, along with five of his fellow crewman. Holding Huggins’ hand is Jeff Rusiecki, a retired Coast Guardsman who with Huggins began a memorial to those guardians who have died in the Pacific Northwest.

ILWACO, Wash. — Salty Talks presents “A Tribute to Gordon Huggins, U.S. Coast Guard ‘Triumph,’” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18.

Friends and colleagues will recount the story of Huggins, who died in March. He was on board the the USCG lifeboat Triumph on Jan. 12, 1961, when tragedy struck. Five crew members and two fishermen, Bert and Stanley Burgman of Ilwaco, were lost on the Columbia River Bar. Huggins, a young engineman looking for experience, was below deck.

His account of capsizing and washing ashore near the North Head Lighthouse is worth hearing.

Salty Talk presentations are free and held upstairs in the Salt Hotel & Pub, 147 Howerton Ave., on the Ilwaco waterfront. Come early or stay late if you want to grab dinner or beverages. Seating is limited. No reservations will be taken.

For more information, contact Stephen Wood at 360-642-3029 or stephen.wood@parks.wa.gov, or Julian Orr at 360-642-7258 or thepub@salt-hotel.com.

Salty Talks are held in partnership with the pub, Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, and Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, with support from Friends of Columbia River Gateway.

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