Submitted by U.S. Coast Guard
Coast Guard, locals and emergency response personnel assisted an injured man aboard a 35-foot sailing vessel off Lopez Island, on Thursday, June 8.
Responders aboard the Sentinel, 38-foot public safety boat from the San Juan Island County Sheriff’s Department, transported the 58-year-old man to Cattle Point Marina for further medical treatment, while a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Port Angeles secured flooding aboard the vessel and towed it to Friday Harbor Marina.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound were notified of the incident at 11:49 p.m., Wednesday, June 7, by Washington State Emergency Operation Center personnel. The International Emergency Response Coordination Center personnel in Texas originally received a message from a personal emergency position indicating radio beacon signaling a medical emergency near Lopez Island. Shortly after, sector watchstanders received a mayday over VHF channel 16 from the man, who reportedly fell down, broke his hip and was requesting assistance.
An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles, the station boat crew and the crew of the Sentinel, with two paramedics aboard, launched in response.
Once on scene, the Sentinel crew placed the vessel in tow and rendered medical assistance to the man and transferred him to their boat after they reached calmer waters in Griffin Bay. While en route to Cattle Point Marina, the sailing vessel began to take on water reportedly due to a failed propeller shaft. The station boat crew pulled alongside the sailing vessel and two Coast Guard members went aboard, secured the flooding and dewatered the vessel before placing in a side tow.
Weather on scene reported as 12 mph winds and up to 4-foot high seas.