Coast Guard rescues sailing vessel crew, Juan De Fuca Strait

SEATTLE – The Coast Guard rescued two people from the life boat of a sailing vessel in the Juan De Fuca Strait at approximately 9:15 p.m., Friday.

The two men entered the the lifeboat of the 26-foot sailing vessel Pia, near Smith Island, Wash., after the vessel was beset by inclement weather.

The crew contacted the U.S. Coast Guard by VHF marine band radio stating that they were in distress. The Coast Guard launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles, Wash. Once on scene, the helicopter crew deployed a rescue swimmer and hoisted the two men into the helicopter using a rescue basket. The men were transported back to Port Angeles with no reported injuries.

Both men were wearing lifejackets when they were recovered by the Coast Guard.

The sailing vessel is adrift in Juan De Fuca Strait with no personnel on board and the Coast Guard is issuing periodic radio broadcasts warning mariners of the navigational hazard. The owner will hire a commercial salvage company to recover the vessel if possible when weather conditions improve.

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