Coast Guard, good Samaritans help rescue kayakers

June 13, 2022

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A USCG small rescue boat and a helicopter responded. The USCG pulled three boaters from the water and a standby safety boat rescued a fourth person. All four were taken to the hospital after showing signs of hypothermia. 

A Gale Warning was in effect for the area the boaters capsized in, according to the USCG. That means sustained surface winds, or frequent gusts between 34 knots to 47 knots, or between 39 to 54 miles per hour. 

A Small Craft Advisory was also in place for the Strait and Puget Sound, according to the National Weather Service. This advisory means wind speeds of 21-33 knots and/or seas 10 feet or higher are “expected to produce hazardous wave conditions” to smaller vessels. Inexperienced mariners should avoid navigating the waters in these conditions.

The Coast Guard said it would work with partners to monitor future racing events. 

Jake Beattie, the creator of the race and executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center, said the first phase of the race from Port Townsend to Victoria, B.C. is considered the “proving ground.” When it comes down to it, it’s the responsibility for the people on board to make the best decisions for themselves, he said. 

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But the race isn’t without safety precautions. Each boat has a tracker that’s updated in real time. Every team also has either an emergency position indicating radio beacon or a personal locator beacon, according to Beattie.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Steve Strohmaier said the people they rescued were “very prepared” for the conditions, wearing dry suits, lifejackets, and were each equipped with locator beacons.

“The only thing injured was some egos, really,” Beattie said.

AIS Testing BT200
AIS Testing BT200
AIS Testing BT200
AIS Testing BT200
AIS Testing BT200
WST Antenna 420-100
WST Antenna MGAA SMA
WST Antenna 100-GAA-SMA-M
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WST Cable 130-002
WST BT200 screen
WST BT200 screen