By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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PORT TOWNSEND — A U.S. Coast Guard response-boat crew rescued a boater over the weekend when his 19-foot sailboat overturned in the waters off Port Townsend.
The lone boater, who was caught in high winds and turbulent waves, stayed with his boat and righted it before the Coast Guard arrived, Petty Officer Nate Littlejohn, Coast Guard District 13 spokesman, said Sunday.
The distressed boater was not identified by the Coast Guard.
A Coast Guard Dolphin helicopter caught the Saturday rescue on video, which was posted on the Coast Guard website later that day.
The rescue video shows the crew of the 45-foot response boat from Coast Guard Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles coming alongside the stricken home-built sailboat and setting it up to be towed to Port Townsend Harbor.
Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound received notification at approximately 12:45 p.m. from a boater who had witnessed a small sailboat capsize in high seas, approximately 6 miles north of Port Townsend, Littlejohn said.
The response boat and a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Port Angeles were dispatched to the reported location, and the Coast Guard issued an urgent marine information broadcast, asking any boaters nearby to assist if possible, he said.
The video shows that the response-boat crew arrived to find that the sailor, wearing his life jacket, had managed to right the overturned hull and climb back into the pitching boat.
The crew threw a line to the sailor, helped him aboard and took the sailboat in tow.
The Dolphin helicopter crew remained on scene to offer assistance if needed, Littlejohn said.
The man and his sailboat were transported safely to Point Hudson Marina in Port Townsend, he said.
No injuries were reported.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at email@example.com.