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June 1, 2013 at 11:16 AM

State ferry helps rescue capsized boat operator

boat

Three people were rescued from a capsized fishing boat near the Kingston Marina Saturday morning. (Photo courtesy of North Kitsap Fire & Rescue)

Three people were dumped into the water from a capsized fishing boat near the Kingston Marina Saturday morning, and the boat’s operator was rescued by a crew from a state ferry pulling into dock.

No one appeared to be injured, said Michele Laboda, spokeswoman for North Kitsap Fire and Rescue. The accident occurred about 50 yards from shore just after 8 a.m.

A 14 year-old boy and his grandparents were in the water for about 10 minutes, Laboda said.

The woman and boy were wearing life jackets and swam to the nearby shore, she said.

A lifeboat from the state ferry Spokane had difficulty bringing the man on board so he held onto the boat as it towed him to shore, according to Laboda.

The capsized boat was a 21-foot crabbing vessel, she said.

The boat’s operator told rescue crews he launched at the Port of Kingston Marina and was heading to fishing grounds when the boat began taking on water at the stern.  He tried to bring the boat back to the marina, according to Laboda, when accumulating water appeared to destabilize the vessel and it rolled over, throwing all three passengers into Puget Sound.

Firefighters anchored the hull to keep it from moving with the tides, Laboda said.

Its owner, with the help of several private vessels, tried for several hours to right the vessel.

Laboda said he would try again in the evening when tides were more favorable.

Coast Guard and state ecology officials responded to the accident, but there was no evidence of a fuel leak, she said, and the capsized boat did not create a navigation hazard.

The woman was examined for hypothermia but declined to be transported to a hospital, said Laboda, who did not provide the boaters’ names because of privacy concerns.

The three on the capsized boat were fortunate the ferry and local firefighters were close to the accident. Water temperatures are likely in the 45-to-50 degree range, she said.

“Folks have about 15 minutes in water that cold,” she said, “before muscles stop working for even the best swimmers.”

The water was so cold, she added, that the woman could not stand on her own when she reached shore and firefighters waded into the water to bring her to land.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Kingston Marina, North Kitsap Fire and Rescue

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