Two men were rescued, uninjured but cold, by North Kitsap Fire & Rescue crews after the men’s sailing craft capsized, dumping them into Puget Sound about three miles northwest of Shilshole Marina Monday night.
NKF&R crews were dispatched along with several other agencies just after 7:47 p.m. Monday, following the men’s 9-1-1 call. The district’s fire-rescue vessel, Marine 81, is moored at Port of Kingston Marina and cross-staffed by firefighters who respond from the South Kingston Road and Miller Bay Road fire stations.
The boat was underway in less than 15 minutes, and the crew was pulling the men from the water within 30 minutes of dispatch. Both were wearing life-jackets.
After settling the men into the cabin and determining that immediate medical attention wasn’t necessary, the crew turned its attention to recovering the overturned boat. With the help of Seattle Fire Department and U.S. Coast Guard crews, the approximately 20 foot catamaran was righted, and Marine 81 towed the vessel back to Kingston.
The pair told firefighters that they’d launched from a private residence on Miller Bay, which is situated between Suquamish and Indianola on the Kitsap Peninsula, and were enjoying a sail when a too-tight turn caused the boat to flip.
Puget Sound’s water temperature hovers between 45 – 55 F. In as little as 15 minutes, the effects of the cold water begin to impact the ability to effectively swim or self-rescue. Life jackets help ensure that immersion victims remain at the water’s surface and more visible to rescuers.