Coast Guard rescues four near Smith Island, Wash.

SEATTLE — The Coast Guard rescued four people near Smith Island, Wash., Saturday.

The Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound command center received a report at 7:35 p.m. that two divers had gone missing near Smith Island, six nautical miles west of Whidbey Island, Wash.  Sector Puget Sound launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles, Wash., along with the Coast Guard Cutter Terrapin, a 45-foot response boat crew from Coast Guard Station Port Angeles and a second 45-foot response boat crew from Coast Guard Station Bellingham, Wash.

The divers were located near Smith Island and were rescued by the helicopter crew and the crew of the Terrapin.  Both had been swept away from their respective dive boats by strong currents and were unable to swim back.  One of the divers was transported via helicopter to emergency medical personnel in Port Angeles to be treated for hypothermia and dehydration.

While Coast Guard units were on scene, the two dive boat operators had intentionally grounded their vessels on Smith Island.  After they learned the divers had been recovered, the two dive boat operators were unable to re-launch their vessels due to rough weather, and were rescued from the island and taken to Port Angeles by the MH-65 helicopter crew.


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