A 10-year-old boy swept out to sea at Point No Point in Hansville was rescued by local bystanders, one of whom needed rescuing himself.
The incident occurred at around 1:30 p.m. June 26. North Kitsap Fire & Rescue received a call from someone on the popular beachhead who reported that the boy and another man were in distress 30 feet to 50 feet off the point.
A 26-year-old man from Seabeck on the beach with his two children heard the boy shouting for help and swam out to him. The man attempted to swim back to shore with the boy on his back, but an old injury slowed them down and put the man at risk of drowning.
Both the boy and the man yelled for help and a woman with a boogie board swam out and provided them with floatation, while other quick-thinking bystanders worked to push a log out to the swimmers and bring them back to shore.
All of that happened while crews from NKFR and the U.S. Coast Guard were en route.
When medics arrived the boy and man were examined. The boy was taken home by his mother, and the man was taken to St. Michaels hospital, where he was treated and released later that day. Two women who identified themselves as nurses followed him to the hospital in his car with his young children.
NKFR crews credited the bystanders for their quick work but also cautioned against the dangers of swimming in Puget Sound.
“The waters surrounding our fire district are vast and, sometimes, others can get there much faster than we can. So, we’re grateful when bystanders step up to help,” said Michele Laboda, NKFR public information officer. “But it’s also important that helpers do so safely.”
NKFR encourages all who spend time on the water to wear life jackets as the frigid waters of the Sound can impair one’s ability to swim, which has led to at least three other water rescues in Kitsap County this year.
“Visitors and residents alike are often surprised by the strength of currents around Point No Point,” Laboda added.