Coast Guard hoists mariner to safety

VENDOVI ISLAND — A Coast Guard helicopter crew from Port Angeles rescued a mariner from a 30-foot sailing vessel that was taking on water and stuck on the rocks north of Vendovi Island.

A MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles hoisted the man and transported him to Anacortes Airport, where he was safely transferred to emergency medical service personnel to be treated for signs of mild hypothermia at Island Hospital on Tuesday night, the Coast Guard said in a news release.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound received the initial mayday call at 7:04 p.m. from the mariner, who said he was stuck near the island. Watchstanders lost communications but confirmed his position using the Coast Guard radio system known as Rescue 21, the Coast Guard said.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Bellingham and the aircrew launched in response.

The 45-foot RB-M crew arrived on scene, located the vessel on the rocks and the mariner on the island, but was unable to get close to the vessel or the mariner due to the limited water depth.

The aircrew arrived 20 minutes after the boat crew and performed the hoist.

There has been no report of sheening from the vessel, and Incident Management Division personnel from sector are standing by as the owner works on a salvage plan to get the vessel off the island and refloated.

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