SEATTLE — Coast Guard crews removed 10 children and two adults from a sailboat, which went aground on Bird Rock north of Shaw Island Sunday.
The rescued children and two adults are being transported to Cornet Bay, Whidbey Island, while three adults stayed aboard the 58-foot sailing vessel Cutty Sark where they are planning to refloat the vessel at high tide which is midnight.
Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound watchstanders received a call via Ch16 marine VHF radio asking for assistance from the boat operators stating they had run aground and were listing. A crew aboard a 29-foot Response Boat Small II from Coast Guard Station Bellingham and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Adelie, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Port Angeles, responded to the call for assistance.
When crews arrived on scene with the Cutty Sark, they found the vessel listing approximately seven feet to its port side. For the safety of those aboard, the decision was made to remove all the children who ranged in age from 10 to 12 years old to the cutter Adelie. All children and adults aboard the sailing vessel were wearing lifejackets.
“The quick notification using a marine VHF radio alerting us they were in trouble helped us get the proper response crews there to help,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron McNeal, a Sector Puget Sound operations specialist and command duty officer. “Once on scene, the Coast Guard crews were able to work with the boat captain to help ensure the safe transfer of the children aboard. With this many children, we really were lucky that no one was hurt because this could have been a really bad day at sea.”
A Tow Boat U.S. crew has responded and will be helping the remaining crew refloat their vessel with the tide.
There were no injuries or pollution reported in the grounding incident.
The Cutty Sark is a wooden hulled classic ketch design ship operated out of Whidbey Island for educational purposes by non-profit Aeolian Adventures, Inc.
The weather was reported as light winds and one-foot waves with a water temperature of 52 degrees.