Washington State Ferry crew rescues overboard boater

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(SEATTLE) — Coast Guard and Washington State Ferry crews rescued a man who fell overboard from his vessel in the vicinity of Elliott Bay Marina on Monday.

Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound watchstanders received a call for help at 10:56 a.m. from a man who had fallen overboard from his 39-foot boat near Elliott Bay Marina while wearing a life jacket. He was calling for help via a hand-held VHF marine radio.

Hearing of the need for help, the crew of the passing ferry Wenatchee launched their small boat and rescued the man from the water. Coast Guard watchstanders also directed the launch of a Station Seattle crew aboard a 25-foot response boat – small.

Upon arriving on scene with the Wenatchee small boat crew, the RB-S crew safely retrieved the rescued man and transported him to Seattle Fire Station 5 where he was transferred to EMS. The rescued man was reportedly suffering from signs of mild hypothermia.

The 39-foot boat was moving at the time the man fell overboard and it continued on its course until it hit the Elliot Bay Marina break wall where it began taking on water and sank. Prior to sinking, a Seattle fireboat crew secured the vessel to the break wall and pollution containment booms to minimize any pollution from oil or fuel.

The boat is reportedly carrying 50 gallons of fuel on board. Coast Guard pollution response personnel have responded to assess any potential environmental impacts from the submerged vessel.

The Station Seattle boat crew and crews from Seattle Harbor Patrol are on scene with the submerged boat.

The Wenatchee crew was released from the response. The ferry has continued on it regularly scheduled route.

Early indications are that the man was working with fenders on the side of his boat and a wave or boat wake rocked the vessel causing him to fall overboard. Coast Guard investigators will work with the man to determine how the incident occurred.

By Professional Mariner Staff