MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Samish ferry crew, Puget Sound Coast Guard rescue sinking boaters

Mar 10, 2024, 4:45 PM | Updated: 5:50 pm

Photo: The Washington State Ferry Samish crew, along with the United States Coast Guard Sector Puge...

The Washington State Ferry Samish crew, along with the United States Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, acted quickly to rescue boaters aboard a sinking cabin cruiser. (Photo courtesy of the USCG Sector Puget Sound)

(Photo courtesy of the USCG Sector Puget Sound)

The Washington State Ferry (WSF) Samish crew, along with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Puget Sound, acted quickly to rescue boaters aboard a sinking cabin cruiser.

The evacuation happened Saturday around 12:50 p.m., according to a Facebook post by the USCG Sector Puget Sound.

The USCG Sector Puget Sound got a mayday call from a 37-foot cabin cruiser. Those onboard said the cruiser was “taking on water” near Decatur Island.

Yet, the boaters could barely send out their GPS position before communications were lost due to their radio shorting out.

More Coast Guard news: Coast Guard works to clear sunken boat in South Seattle

The USCG said it “immediately issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast” and sent several USCG vessels. It also sent a helicopter from the Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles.

The WSF Samish crew responded to the broadcast and launched their rescue boat to help.

The Samish crew rescued four people from the cruiser and “maneuvered the ferry to shield them from the heavy wind and seas,” according to the Facebook post.

Photo: The Samish crew rescued four people from the cruiser and "maneuvered the ferry to shield them from the heavy wind and seas," according to the Facebook post.

The Samish crew rescued four people from the cruiser and “maneuvered the ferry to shield them from the heavy wind and seas,” according to the Facebook post. (Photo courtesy of the USCG Sector Puget Sound)

Responders told the USCG Sector Puget Sound, “A wave crashed over the bow, destroying the windshield and causing water to enter the cabin.”

Photo: Responders told the USCG Sector Puget Sound, "A wave crashed over the bow, destroying the windshield and causing water to enter the cabin."

Responders told the USCG Sector Puget Sound, “A wave crashed over the bow, destroying the windshield and causing water to enter the cabin.” (Photo courtesy of the USCG Sector Puget Sound)

Cremembers rescue boaters and dogs Buster, Bella

A USCG Station Bellingham Response Boat-Medium (RB-M) arrived at the scene and successfully rescued the two remaining passengers. Crews also picked up their two dogs Buster and Belle.

Photo: A USCG Station Bellingham Response Boat-Medium arrived at the scene and successfully rescued the two remaining passengers. Crews also picked up their two dogs Buster and Belle.

A USCG Station Bellingham Response Boat-Medium arrived at the scene and successfully rescued the two remaining passengers. Crews also picked up their two dogs Buster and Belle.(Photo courtesy of the USCG Sector Puget Sound)

Another animal rescue story: English Bulldog shot, 8 puppies rescued in Pierce County

RB-M crewmembers said they drove the cabin cruiser to safe harbor in Anacortes. Meanwhile, the WSF Samish crew continued to shield the wind.

The WSF Samish and RB-M crews took the boaters to emergency medical service in Anacortes. They were evaluated for injuries, according to the Facebook post.

“The quick response and excellent seamanship exhibited by Washington State Ferries highlights the incredible partnerships we have in the Puget Sound,” said a Command Duty Officer at Sector Puget Sound, Lt. Ryan Sexton. “The mariner’s use of a VHF radio for their distress call was critical to our ability to quickly locate them and coordinate an effective response.”

USCG Sector Puget Sound said the cruiser is no longer taking on water and poses no threat of pollution.

Julia Dallas is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read her stories here. Follow Julia on X, formerly known as Twitter, here and email her here.

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Samish ferry crew, Puget Sound Coast Guard rescue sinking boaters