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Paddle boarder saves three near Port Townsend

A paddle boarder likely saved the lives of three people near Port Townsend when they were swept out into Puget Sound.

Brian Kienle was with his church group at Fort Worden State Park, just north of Port Townsend, when he took his paddle board out to ride the swells of a passing cargo ship.

That’s when he saw two young girls being pushed out into open water in their inner-tube and a man swimming out to get them. “I said ‘Hey are you guys OK and do you need help?'” he told KING 5.

They were a couple hundred yards off shore when Kienle calmly grabbed them in two trips and returned them to dry land. “One girl with an inner-tube on the front the first time,” he said. “The second time we had a girl and then an adult guy hanging onto the back.”

Kienle said he was glad to help, though he’s probably paying for it this morning with some stiff muscles. “On the second trip I was feeling a little tired,” he said. “It wasn’t a long paddle, but it was a little intense.”

Park Ranger Todd Jensen said it’s a good thing Kienle was there. “He made it sound like it was no big deal,” he said. “They’re pretty lucky, I think. It was nice that the guy was in the area and willing to help.”

The two young girls and the man were treated briefly at the park. They are OK.

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