KING 5 Report on Coast Guardsmans Death

The following is from KING 5 in Seattle.

SEATTLE – A U.S. Coast Guardsman died in a fall during a security patrol near Vashon Island on Sunday.

The accident occurred at about 2:15 p.m. while the 25-year-old petty officer was aboard one of two 25-foot fast response boat crews from a Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team that were involved in a security patrol and training mission.

Somehow the man fell overboard.

“They said that they did a turn and somehow he fell off,” said witness Nathan Thomas. “They didn’t know how he hit his head. Somehow he hit his head so they pulled him out of the water.”

Passengers waiting for the next ferry watched as an urgent rescue unfolded.

“When they finally got him onto the gurney and the paramedics took over, all the Coast Guard guys kind of got away from the scene and were hugging each other and one was crying,” said Thomas.

The man was rushed to Harborview Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

“Whether it’s helicopter patrols, boat patrols, offshore, we’re out here day and night and it’s a very dangerous mission, and unfortunately today we lost one of our own,” said a Coast Guard Spokesman.

A sad reminder of the dangers of the mission.

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