Boat capsizes off Saltwater Park - three men rescued

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Photo copyright Marc Weinberg

Shoreline police responded to a 911 call about a small boat capsizing off Richmond Beach at 6:10pm Friday evening, June 28, 2013.

According to preliminary police reports, three Richmond Beach men, aged 30, 22, and 21, were out in a small aluminum boat about 200 yards off Richmond Beach Saltwater Park when they were capsized by the wake of a passing boat.

Photo copyright Marc Weinberg

The aluminum boat capsized, sending the three men into the water. They reportedly had life vests in the boat, but were not wearing them.

Onlookers on the beach called 911, prompting an immediate response from Shoreline Fire and Police department, along with King County Marine Units and the SAR rescue Helicopter.

SAR Rescue Helicopter. Photo copyright Marc Weinberg.

Deputy Muir was the first unit to arrive and utilized Saltwater Park’s six-wheel ATV to transport Medics and equipment down to the beach. These first responders were able to get all three victims out of the water and they were transported to Northwest hospital to be treated for hyperthermia. 

The boat was recovered by a Good Samaritan. 
Alcohol was not involved.

Marine Deputy Greg McKinney is the lead investigator on the incident.

Updated 6:47pm


Ross,  June 30, 2013 at 12:53 AM  

I'm not sure how you gathered facts for this story but it isn't consistent with what I observed from my deck in Innas Arden and overheard on the marine radio.

We were initially observed the orbiting TV helicopter and deduced that something was amiss. We turned on our radio, got out our binoculars, and overheard/observed a good Samaritan aboard a 40ish foot power boat talking to the US Coast Guard. They stated that they had taken two people out of the water from a 12' dinghy and wanted assistance getting them ashore to the medics. Shortly thereafter a boat from the Seattle Police Harbor Patrol arrived, took the two soaked boaters aboard, and beached their boat at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park to transfer them to the awaiting Shoreline F.D. Medics. While this was occurring the Sno. County Fire Dist. #1 boat arrived from Edmonds, a 44' RB-M from US Coast Guard Station Seattle, a boat from the US Coast Guard cutter Henry Blake (a buoy tender based in Everett), and a HH-65 helicopter from the Coast Guard air station in Port Angeles (which must have already been flying since it arrived from the South too quickly to have come from P.A.) all arrived about the same time. All the additional units would have been very helpful if all the people aboard the capsized boat were not accounted for but happily everybody was already located so they didn't take an active part in the rescue.

The folks on the power boat where the ones that took action to rescue the people out of the water. We are fortunate that they were backed up but a variety of professional rescuers. The people who had to be rescued were foolish to have not been wearing life jackets in such a small boat and are very lucky to have survived their unplanned swim. I was disturbed to hear on the radio that at least one of them was intoxicated enough that he was being difficult to deal with. Drinking to excess while boating are also something that isn't conducive to living a long and happy life.

I've had my own mishap windsurfing at the park during the winter that resulted in a broken rib. I was fortunate to be able to self-rescue but I always try to keep an eye out for the kite boarders. It is reassuring to see the variety of resources from Shoreline and adjoining jurisdictions work cooperatively when there is an emergency offshore.

In the future I'm sure that the Coast Guard Public Affairs Officer at (206) 220-7237 would be happy help you gain their understanding of what occurred.

Anonymous,  July 2, 2013 at 8:14 AM  

Yes, agree with the above comments with a few of my own. I'm a former paramedic (14 years) and as we walked down to the beach that day, I noticed right away that some people appeared to be in trouble about 300 yards off shore. One of the three men was swimming in, waving his arms and we heard him holler, "Help!" My husband called emergency services and one man swam out to assist the swimmer coming in. Meanwhile, the other two were still out there, clinging to their sunken boat, trying to right it in vain. When the swimmer came in he told us they'd been swamped by a wave and the boat tipped. He said, "One of my buddies is really freaked out and hyperventilating so the other guy stayed with him and I went for help. I was using the air horn to alert people but no one seemed to hear us." As we watched from the shore, my husband stayed on the phone with emergency services, while the two in the water drifted southward with the tide and wind. Meanwhile a large pleasure boat suddenly turned out in the water and began making its way towards the two men. It got there, threw them a line and hoisted both men onto their boat. At that time, the emergency services were just arriving on the beach and were just inflating their boat. It had been about 20 minutes since we'd called, which was a pretty good response time, considering having to get all of their equipment and personnel down to the beach. The police boat then arrived and took the two men from the pleasure boat, depositing them on shore to waiting fire and police. Not to take anything away from our wonderful emergency services who daily put their lives on the line, but they were not the heros in this situation. Thank goodness for the young man who swam to shore and got his friends some help and thank goodness for those people in the pleasure boat who were the true life savers! That's the real truth and I hope those folks at least get some recognition for doing what they did.

Anonymous,  July 2, 2013 at 9:06 AM  

I am one of the young men that was on that boat that day and I would like to thank the coast guard, the police, medics, firemen and would love to contact the couple on that pleasure boat to thank them as well. If anyone knows them or where my boat went please contact me at or 206 579 9679 thanks

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