UPDATED — 9 kayakers — including 7 children — hoisted to safety off Fidalgo Island (with video)

By Peninsula Daily News staff

ANACORTES — A Coast Guard helicopter crew from Port Angeles and the Navy worked together Thursday afternoon to rescue nine people — seven children and two adults — who were separated from each other on a kayaking trip near Rosario Beach on Fidalgo Island south of Anacortes.

(Watch VIDEO, below)

From a Coast Guard press release:

A Coast Guard aircrew from Air Station Port Angeles, aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and a Navy aircrew from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Search and Rescue, aboard an MH-60 Knighthawk helicopter, were able to safely hoist all nine people, who were wearing life jackets, and transport them to Whidbey General Hospital in good condition at about 3 p.m.

“The Coast Guard and Navy coordinated well and that resulted in a successful outcome,” said Mike McKiernan, command duty officer at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound. “These people also had the right safety equipment with them, including a VHF-FM radio, and they were wearing their life jackets.”

The rescued adults and children were not identified.

Officials said a small craft advisory was in effect at the time.

A Coast Guard boat crew from the Bellingham station recovered two kayaks. Officials say the other kayaks could be adrift which could be dangerous to boats in the area.

Fidalgo Island is about 78 miles north of Seattle and separated from the mainland by the Swinomish Channel and from Whidbey Island to the south by Deception Pass. Its largest city is Anacortes.

Last modified: July 25. 2014 12:05PM
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