Coast Guard assists disabled vessel near Smith Island

SEATTLE – The Coast Guard assisted a disabled 38-foot sailboat with five people aboard near Smith Island, Wash. today after the master of the vessel reported that it b was drifting in 10-foot waves.

The master of the Eliska contacted the Coast Guard at 4 a.m. on VHF channel 16 to request assistance after the vessel lost steering power and the sail became damaged.

Minutes later, a 41-foot utility boat crew from Coast Guard Station Port Angeles, Wash., responded and took the sailboat in tow.

The 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Sea Lion was also diverted to assist at 8:25 a.m.

An HH-65 Dolphin Helicopter from Air Station Port Angeles was launched after several people aboard the Eliska reported that they were seasick and dehydrated.

The helicopter hoisted four of the five people aboard and transported them to Olympic Memorial Hospital for treatment.

The sailboat’s master remains aboard the vessel while it is being towed to John Wayne Marina in Sequim, Wash.

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