Port Angeles Coast Guard crew, Navy rescue nine people near Fidalgo Island's Rosario Beach
A shot from a Coast Guard video shows an aerial view of the kayaks from which nine people were rescued Thursday near Rosario Beach on Fidalgo Island south of Anacortes.
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An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from the Port Angeles Coast Guard station and an MH-60 Knighthawk helicopter crew from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Search and Rescue hoisted the nine people aboard and took them to Whidbey General Hospital at about 3 p.m. Thursday, the Coast Guard said.
All were reported to be in good condition, said the Coast Guard, which did not identify them.
“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,” McKiernan said.
Officials said a small-craft advisory was in effect at the time.
An instructor from the kayaking group radioed the Coast Guard that the group had become separated at about 1:10 p.m.
An unidentified good Samaritan on a nearby small boat located five children on the beach and two aboard kayaks in a kelp bed.
A Navy rescue swimmer assisted the seven children, who were hoisted aboard the Knighthawk helicopter.
The rescue swimmer remained with the two adults, and all three were hoisted aboard the Dolphin helicopter.
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.
Mariners are asked to report sightings to Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound at 206-217-6001.
Fidalgo Island is about 78 miles north of Seattle and separated from the mainland by Swinomish Channel and from Whidbey Island to the south by Deception Pass. Its largest city is Anacortes.
Last modified: July 26. 2014 7:03PM