SEATTLE -- Coast Guard rescue crews across Washington responded to multiple cases this weekend involving mariners not wearing lifejackets and deficiencies of lifesaving equipment found aboard vessels.
With warmer spring weather coming to the Pacific Northwest, the Coast Guard stresses the importance of wearing lifejackets and having the proper lifesaving equipment aboard vessels in the event of emergencies.
Late Saturday morning, a sailing vessel owner notified Sector Puget Sound watchstanders, reporting he was in distress in Holmes Harbor. After responding and finding the mariner no longer in distress, a boat crew aboard the Cutter Wahoo terminated the voyage, and escorted the vessel owner back to port, after finding no lifejackets aboard his vessel.
Sunday evening, Sector Puget Sound watchstanders received a report of a person in the water in Thorndyke Bay, four miles south of the Hood Canal Bridge. The adult male fell into the water and was not wearing a lifejacket. After rescue crews from Air Station Port Angeles, Station Seattle and the Cutter Wahoo conducted multiple searches throughout the night and the next morning, the search was suspended with negative results.
Also on Sunday night, an Air Station Port Angeles aircrew and Station Neah Bay and Station Port Angeles boat crews assisted Clallum County deputies in searching for a missing individual near Deep Creek in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The reporting source stated that she and her friend, neither wearing lifejackets, were aboard a 13-foot vessel that got swamped by waves, throwing both into the water. The Coast Guard crews suspended their search after Clallam County deputies found the missing individual deceased on land early Monday morning.
As springtime nears, water temperatures will remain dangerously cold and ensuring the proper use of safety gear, including always wearing a lifejacket, is essential to ensure everyone stays safe while enjoying the waterways of the Pacific Northwest.