Two boaters and a service dog were rescued from a sailboat that started taking on water about a mile northwest of the Mukilteo ferry dock Thursday night around 11:20 p.m.
According to Snohomish County Fire District public information officer Leslie Hynes, the two boaters – a man and a woman who appeared to be in their 20s – were cold and wet but uninjured when firefighters brought them aboard Marine 16, a rescue boat staffed by Fire District 1 and based at the Port of Edmonds. The dog was also uninjured.
The Coast Guard requested assistance from Marine 16 after receiving a distress call that the 24-foot sailboat, My Sister, had struck something and was taking on water. A Naval Station Everett Security Boat arrived first at 11:40 p.m. and assisted the boaters until Marine 16 arrived just before midnight.
“The boaters were attempting to use a hand pump, but there was more water on the sailboat than they could handle,” Hynes said.
After making sure the boaters and their dog were uninjured, firefighters set up a more powerful pump from Marine 16 and began towing the sailboat to the Port of Everett marina. “About halfway to the marina, the sailboat was taking on more water than the pumps could handle, so firefighters had to leave the boat adrift with a Coast Guard vessel standing by,” Hynes said. “The sailboat sank about three hours later.”
Marine 16 continued on to the Port of Everett Marina with the boaters aboard. The boaters and the dog did not require medical assistance. Port of Everett staff met Marine 16 at the dock to assist the rescued boaters, who had been living aboard the sailboat at the Port of Everett Marina. The boaters told rescuers they planned to stay with friends.
Firefighters said a new navigation system, purchased with an $8,000 donation from the Edmonds Fire Safety Foundation and installed just two weeks ago, was instrumental in the successful night-time search and rescue. “We really appreciate the donation. It’s proved to be a great upgrade in our capabilities,” said Battalion Chief Don White, marine program coordinator.
Earlier this month, Fire District 1 assumed ownership of the fire rescue boat from the City of Edmonds. The 30-foot rescue vessel, named in memory of Edmonds firefighter Charles W. Cain, was purchased with a $209,000 grant from the Department of Emergency Management and was placed in service in June 2006 as a joint project of the Edmonds Police Department, Port of Edmonds and Edmonds Fire Department, which consolidated with Fire District 1 in 2010. Marine 16 is staffed by firefighters based at Fire Station 17 in downtown Edmonds.