Coast Guard air, boatcrews assist overturned kayaker near Birch Bay, Wash.

Pacific Northwest Coast Guard News

SEATTLE — A Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles, Wash., aircrew and a boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Bellingham, Wash., assisted an overturned kayaker near Birch Bay, Wash., July 31, 2013.

A concerned citizen on shore contacted watchstanders at Station Bellingham at about 8 p.m., after seeing the man’s kayak flip over.

The air and boatcrews were already underway conducting scheduled training, and diverted to the scene. A second individual on shore was able to direct the rescue crews to kayaker’s location. The aircrew was able to safely hoist the kayaker into the helicopter and transport him waiting Emergency Medical Services at Bellingham Airport. The kayaker was reportedly exhibiting signs of mild hypothermia.

The Coast Guard urges all paddlesport enthusiasts to take proper safety precautions and dress for the water temperature as opposed to the air temperature. Paddlers should also wear a brightly colored life jacket to increase their visibility and the chances of being found in the event of an emergency.

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