The crew of a fishing vessel rescued two men from the water near buoy 24 in Grays Harbor, Washington, Sunday.
The men, one 72-year-old and one 53-year-old, both Tacoma residents, were safely transferred to a Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor crew aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small, and taken to the station where they were met by EMS personnel and treated for signs of hypothermia.
Coast Guard Sector Columbia River watchstanders received a call from the fishermen at 11:49 a.m. reporting that they had rescued two men from the water near the Grays Harbor South Jetty.
The two men were aboard their 16-foot boat when a wave reportedly capsized them and they were thrown into the water. They were estimated to have been floating at sea for four to five hours while an incoming tide helped carry them into Grays Harbor where they were eventually rescued.
“The help and watchful lookout by the fishermen saved two men today,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Kevin Zariczny, an operations specialist and search and rescue coordinator at Sector Columbia River. “The life jackets the two boaters were wearing were vital in their rescue. However, without the help of the fishing vessel crew, we may never have known they were out there and in trouble.”
The Coast Guard encourages all boaters to have essential safety equipment on board their vessel, including life jackets, flares, and most importantly a way to call for help in an emergency. Having a VHF marine radio to call for help, or to be carrying an emergency position indicating radio beacon, is essential for letting someone know you need help.
Both men were treated and released by EMS personnel.
The exact position of the sunken vessel is unknown. Mariners are encouraged to keep a safe lookout for any hazards as they transit in and out of Grays Harbor. There are no reports of pollution from the sunken vessel.