Coast Guard responds to vessels in distress near La Push, Wash

SEATTLE – Six men were rescued and one died after one vessel capsized and one began taking on water 25 miles northwest of La Push, Wash., today.

At 8:56 a.m., the master of a 22-foot pleasure craft contacted Coast Guard Group/Air Station Port Angeles, Wash. on VHF channel 16 to request assistance after his boat began to take on water 28 miles west of La Push.

An HH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Port Angeles, a 47-foot motor lifeboat crew from Station Quillayute River, Wash., and a CH-149 Cormorant helicopter crew from Canadian Forces Base Comox, British Columbia were launched to assist.

At 10:19 a.m. the HH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew lowered a dewatering pump to the vessel My Wife to control flooding. After the vessel was dewatered and stabilized, the 47-foot motor lifeboat crew took the vessel in tow.

None of the four people aboard the vessel reported any injuries.

At 9:47 a.m., the master of another pleasure craft contacted Group/Air Station Port Angeles to report that his vessel was taking on water but was unable to give a location before his boat capsized.

Minutes later, two nearby charter fishing vessels, the Fury and Ultimate, contacted Group/Air Station Port Angeles on VHF channel 16 to report that they had pulled three men, in life jackets, from the water. Resuscitation efforts were started aboard the vessel Ultimate when one of the men, 71 years old, was found to be unresponsive.

An HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Astoria, Ore., a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Station Quillayute River and a CH-149 Cormorant helicopter were diverted to assist.

Two of the men were transported to the Forks Hospital in Forks, Wash., by the HH-60 helicopter crew, the third man, who was unresponsive, was transported to the hospital by the Canadian CH-149 Cormorant crew. The unresponsive man was pronounced dead at the Forks Hospital.

At 10:10 a.m., The master of a 26-foot pleasure craft contacted the Coast Guard to report that his primary engine failed and the vessel was being powered by a backup engine. A 47-foot motor lifeboat crew from Station Quillayute River was diverted to tow the vessel to La Push.

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