Lost boater prompts hefty response on Liberty Bay

Multiple agencies, including a Coast Guard helicopter, responded to the report

Poulsbo Police and the Poulsbo Fire Department responded to a call near the Poulsbo Marina on Monday around 1:15 a.m. after receiving a report of a man yelling that he had lost his boat on Liberty Bay.

According to Jody Matson, a spokesperson for the Poulsbo Fire Department, a neighbor had called to report that she could hear a man yelling that he had lost his boat, somewhere in the area of the Port of Poulsbo Marina.

“The yelling reportedly sounded distressed and continued for about 10 minutes prior to the 911 call, then stopped,” Matson said.

Engine and medic crews responded on Marine 6 in Liberty Bay, while PPD conducted a foot search of the marina. The Poulsbo Fire Department and police set up up a command center in the meantime.

“Our crew located a single oar floating in the bay and built a grid search around those GPS coordinates,” Matson said.

Poulsbo Fire’s Battalion Chief contacted the U.S. Coast Guard in Seattle, which responded with a small watercraft and helicopter to broaden the initial search pattern.

Rescuers received information that a man who lives aboard a sailboat on the bay had been a patron of the Brass Kraken prior to receiving the report.

“That male reportedly left to row his skiff back to his sailboat,” Matson said. “Our crew located a vessel with attached skiff (missing an oar) and a visible red jacket that matched the description of the male that was reportedly rowing earlier.”

According to Matson, the Coast Guard was notified and boarded the vessel and located the male in question. The man confirmed that he had become lost and was yelling in the bay earlier.

The search was then called off and all fire units were cleared.

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