Six Rescued near Oregon, Washington Coast

By Joseph R. Fonseca
Monday, February 15, 2016
A Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles crew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter hoist two stranded kayakers from the uninhabited Hope Island courtesy USCG

The Coast Guard rescued six people in three separate search-and-rescue cases Saturday along the Washington and Oregon coastline. On Saturday morning, the Coast Guard rescued three people near Coos Bay, Oregon when their boat overturned. On Saturday evening, two kayakers were stranded between Hope Island and Whidbey Island, Washington when their kayaks capsized and required assistance. Additionally, a 58-year-old man was retrieved from the water after falling from D dock at the Port of Ilwaco, Washington.

At approximately 5 p.m., Saturday, a watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound received a report from 911 dispatch of a male and female kayaker who capsized on the northeast side of Whidbey Island between Whidbey and Hope Islands. Rescue crews from Coast Guard Station Bellingham and Air Station Port Angeles and a local marine fire unit responded to assist the stranded kayakers, who swam to the shore of the uninhabited Hope Island.

The Port Angeles aircrew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter arrived on scene and located the kayakers and retrieved them from Hope Island. The kayakers later reported being in the water for more than an hour before making it to shore. The water and air temperatures were both in the mid 40s with winds up to 30 knots. At 6:17 p.m., Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment received a report from 911 dispatch of a man in the water near D dock. The report stated that the man had been in the water for approximately 20 minutes and was hanging onto a life raft, but was unable to get in.

A Coast Guard boatcrew launched a 29-foot Response Boat - Small II and was on scene within 5 minutes. The boatcrew located the man, who was unconscious and wedged between a dock and the life raft. The rescue crew pulled the man from the water and successfully revived him within a few minutes. The man was transferred to awaiting EMS and taken to a nearby hospital. His condition is unknown at this time. The water temperature in the Port of Ilwaco was 41 degrees.

The Coast Guard reminds everyone of the potential dangers of being on or near the water and encourages all to take necessary precautions. Those near the water should be mindful of slippery surfaces like docks and rocks, especially during this rainy and windy season. Those on the water should make it a practice to carry a handheld VHF-FM radio and a personal locator beacon, which will help notify authorities if an emergency situation emerges.

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