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Pacific Northwest Media Contact: (206) 220-7237

13th District Public Affairs

U.S. Coast Guard

News Release

Date: July 24, 2012

D13 Staff PA

Contact: PA3 Nathan Littlejohn

Office: (503) 861-6132

Mobile: (816) 582-1725

News Release: Coast Guard rescues man after sailboat runs aground, catches fire near Spieden Island, Wash., Tuesday

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — The Coast Guard rescued a man after his sailboat ran aground and caught fire near Spieden Island, Wash., Tuesday.

Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, located in Seattle, received a report of a red flare and possible vessel on fire approximately one-half mile southwest of Spieden Island and one mile north of San Juan Island, Wash., at approximately 1:30 a.m.

Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Port Angeles and a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft Law Enforcement crew from Station Bellingham.

Both crews arrived on scene to find a 24-foot sailing vessel on fire and a man standing in shallow water near the blaze.

The SPC-LE crew was able to get within earshot of the man and learned he was the only person on board. Due to the shallow, rocky bottom, the SPC-LE crew could not reach the man.

The Dolphin helicopter crew lowered a rescue swimmer and hoisted the man to the helicopter.

The helicopter crew transported the man to Bellingham where he was placed in the care of local EMS. No major injuries were reported.

The sailing vessel burned to the water line and contained approximately 20 gallons of gasoline. The cause of the fire has not been determined.

For additional information, please contact Petty Officer Nate Littlejohn at (503) 861-6132.

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