Gusty weather on Saturday keeps Pacific Northwest Coast Guard busy

SEATTLE – The Coast Guard and other local maritime assets including North Whidbey Fire and Rescue, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, and Camano Fire and Rescue responded to multiple incidents in the Puget Sound area brought on by Saturday’s gusty weather.

The Coast Guard Sector Seattle Command Center received reports of boats going adrift and overturning and boaters being blown into the water by heavy winds all throughout Puget Sound.

Among the many cases Saturday:

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Adelie and an HH-60 helicopter crew from Air Station Astoria, Ore., were diverted to Carr Inlet near Gig Harbor, Wash., to assist with the rescue of eight kayakers. The crew of the Adelie rescued two of the kayakers from the water while the other six were able to make it safely to shore.

An MH-65 helicopter crew from Air Station Port Angeles, Wash., was diverted to Cultas Bay near Whidbey Island, Wash., after four people were reported to be aboard a demasted catamaran. Reponders from North Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue arrived on scene and reported the two people had successfully righted the vessel and were safe before the helicopter crew arrived.

A catamaran near Camano Island was blown over knocking two people into the water. The Coast Guard contacted North Whidbey Fire and Rescue, Camano Fire and Rescue, and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island requesting assistance with the case while its MH-65 helicopter crew returned to Port Angeles to refuel. Camano Fire and Rescue rescued the two people from the water while North Whidbey Fire and Rescue arrived on scene and righted the vessel.

Drifting vessels caused many assets to be diverted to recover the boats before they could become a danger. The Coast Guard is asking that boat owners properly anchor or secure their vessels or bring them up onto shore when they’re not in use. The Coast Guard also asks that operators of sailing craft take special care or simply don’t go out on the water due to the increased likelihood of overturning in the heavy winds.

Winds in some locations were blowing at up to 40mph. No injuries have been reported in any of Saturday’s cases.

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