Coast Guard responds to more than 30 cases during Pacific Northwest storm

Gale WarningSEATTLE — The Coast Guard responded to more than 10 reports of persons in the water and more than 20 vessels reported dragging anchor or unmanned and adrift in various waterways in Oregon and Washington Saturday.

The Coast Guard reminds boaters to use caution while severe weather causes heavy seas and high winds throughout the Pacific Northwest, this weekend.

Persons in the water were reported in Seattle, Tacoma, Bainbridge and Camano Islands, Anacortes, Poulsbo, Lopez Island and Tillamook, Oregon. All persons in the water were safely recovered either by the Coast Guard, local agencies or good Samaritans with no reports of injuries. Boaters and fishermen aboard multiple vessels also needed to be escorted across various harbor entrances.

“Today was a very busy day, and we are fully mission capable and remaining vigilant as this storm passes through the area,” said John Howk, command duty officer, Coast Guard 13th District. “We ask everyone to know their limits and capabilities and to use their best judgement when it comes to being on or near the water.”

The Coast Guard is encouraging all boaters to make sure their boats are secure at the pier or docks by applying multiple lines connecting the boats to their mooring station. When an unmanned vessel is found adrift, it will begin a search for a possible person in the water. Boat owners are encouraged to have their name a contact information on their boat. With this information, responders can contact the boat owner to quickly ensure their safety.

Although the storm is subsiding, remnants of the storm will remain in the area through the weekend. The entrance to the Quillayute River has been closed by the captain of the port and all other river bars have restrictions. Currently most river entrances have 10 to 14-foot breaking swells. Wind gusts and sustained wind speeds are reaching between 20 and 40 miles per hour along the Oregon coast.

There are gale warnings and small craft advisories stretching down the Pacific Northwest coastline. Boaters and other water enthusiasts are always encouraged to be aware of current and forecasted weather and sea conditions.

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