SEATTLE — Coast Guard personnel are searching for a man who went missing after a collision between two boats near Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, Saturday evening.
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Swordfish, an 87-foot Patrol Boat homeported in Port Angeles, is searching the area near Point Defiance Park.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, in Seattle, were notified by Pierce County 911 operators of an alcohol-related collision between two boats and four people in the water at 11 p.m. A boat carrying four people reportedly collided with another boat carrying two people, resulting in serious injuries. The vessel carrying four people then capsized, sending four people into the water. Pierce County marine units transferred the two injured people to Harborview Medical Center.
Pierce County marine units recovered the three other people from the water. The operator of the boat was subsequently arrested by the Tacoma Police Department and taken into custody. The fourth person from the capsized vessel is still missing. None of the people in the water were reportedly wearing life jackets.
An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Air Station Port Angeles, a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew from Station Seattle and the crew of the Swordfish searched an area of 35 square miles overnight.
Alcohol use continues to be the leading known contributing factor in recreational boating deaths and was identified in 21 percent of recreational boating fatalities in 2014.
Impairment can be even more dangerous for boaters than for drivers, since most boaters have less experience and confidence operating a boat than they do driving a car. Operating a boat with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher is against federal law and most state laws.