Brothers earn Life Ring Awards after saving man from sinking boat

Two men are crew members of WSF vessel Chimacum

Two brothers who work on the Washington State Ferries’ Bremerton to Seattle route were given the Life Ring Award April 12 for their efforts in rescuing a man from a sinking boat several months ago.

Tom and Adrian Weisman, crew members aboard the ferry vessel Chimacum, received the honor for saving a man after his boat hit the fish pens in Clam Bay, south of Manchester State Park, causing his boat to start sinking.

At about 9 p.m. on Nov. 18, Capt. Brad Eccles and Chief Mate Brendan Ehnow overheard a distress call to the Coast Guard. Realizing the boat’s close proximity, the Weisman brothers launched a rescue boat and used the Chimacum’s spotlight to locate the man and his sinking vessel.

“We were going by and the gentleman in his boat was driving erratically by the fish pens,” Tom said. “We got over there and the gentleman was sitting on the stern of his boat with his medicines in hand, informing us that he might have had a stroke.”

After being rescued, the man was brought aboard the Chimacum and transported to the Seattle Ferry Terminal, where emergency medical services awaited. According to the Weisman brothers, the man is currently doing fine and was even able to recover his boat.

The Coast Guard did not attend the presentation of the award but passed along a letter of appreciation.

“The selfless actions of you and other professional mariners on a day-to-day basis form a critical part of the strategy to keep citizens safe within this port,” the letter read. “Had you responded with less urgency or trained expertise, the story would have been very different that day. Thank you for your professionalism and devotion to duty.”

Adrian has been with the state ferries for 13 years and Tom for 10 years. The two crew members expressed their thanks for the recognition.

“It’s a very nice surprise,” Adrian Weisman said. “People don’t realize how often we stop and check on people.”

—Tyler Shuey is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at