Coast Guard Station Port Angeles begins boating season with a bang

SEATTLE – Coast Guard Group/Air Station Port Angeles, Wash., began this year’s boating season responding to a call about a vessel fire and explosion in the vicinity of Pillar Point and a separate report of a partially submerged vessel near Burrows Bay today.

Group Port Angeles received a report at 12:40 p.m. of a vessel fire midway between Port Angeles and Neah Bay, Wash., near Pillar Point. The one confirmed person onboard was rescued by a crew onboard West Coast One, a Canadian whale watching vessel, after being in the water for 20 minutes. He was then airlifted and transported to Olympic Medical Center by a Coast Guard HH-65C Dolphin helicopter crew.

There is no further information available on the status of the person who was medically evacuated or information pertaining to his vessel.

Sector Seattle, the Department of Ecology and the National Response Center were notified of possible pollutants in the vicinity of the incident and the scene will be investigated.

A 17-foot pleasure craft was reported at 4 a.m. as being partially submerged and having its bow out of the water near Anacortes, Wash. An HH-65C Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Port Angeles and a 25-foot response boat crew from Station Port Angeles were launched. The crews conducted a search and reported a slight sheen, no debris and no signs that the vessel had any people on board.

After several attempts over the course of five hours the owner was contacted. The owner stated that he had failed to report his sunken vessel due to lack of cell phone coverage.

The owner of the vessel got underway with his two daughters in his boat while a friend was in a second vessel. When his vessel suffered a steering casualty he and his daughters abandoned ship and were picked up by his friend seconds after being in the water.

The Coast Guard reminds boaters to please contact your local authorities in the case of a sunken vessel, even if you are not in danger, due to the possibility of polluting the waters.

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