A 70-year old woman aboard a 36-foot sailboat was seriously injured when the boat ran aground in Echo Bay near Sucia Island Monday afternoon, July 2, 2018. A successful joint rescue effort involved multiple private boaters, Orcas Island Fire and Rescue, San Juan County Sheriff's Office, Vessel Assistance and the U.S. Coast Guard.
An aviation survival technician, from Air Station Port Angeles, and Petty Officers 3rd Class Jordan Harlacher and Matthew Boyd, both 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crewmembers from Station Bellingham tend to an injured woman near Sucia Island, Wash., July 2, 2018. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read U.S. Coast Guard District 13
A Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles aircrew, aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, medically evacuated the woman to St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham in serious but stable condition.
"The best part of this whole thing," according to Seth Ybarra with OIFR "was that people who had never met before came together in a coordinated way to provide the care needed to the patient."
After the rescue, BoatUS immediately took action to prevent the boat from sinking and tow the boat to Anacortes. They also transported the other two people who had been onboard the boat, a man and a child.
Photo by OIFR Seth Ybarra
Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read
The rescue operation began when watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound received a distress call at 12:45 p.m., via VHF-FM radio channel 16 from the captain of a 36-foot sailing vessel reporting the grounding and ensuing injury to one of the passengers. The vessel had three people onboard. Multiple private boats responded to distress call issued by the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard encourages any beachgoers, hikers or water enthusiast to practice safety habits during all Independence Day activities and reminds all mariners that they are responsible for everybody aboard their boat and those operating around them.