A Native-American canoe that was part of the paddle/journey to Quinault, Washington overturned approximately five miles north of Port Townsend on Monday tossing nine people into the water.
The Coast Guard watch-standers in Sector Puget Sound received a call from Jefferson County reporting that the people were in the water. The call went in to Jefferson County by one of the members of the canoe’s crew. That person made the call on a cell phone.
The canoers had left Port Townsend a short time earlier and were paddling to Jamestown, a beach northeast of Sequim.
A passing cargo vessel also reported the overturned canoe and relayed that they could see people in the water waving their arms.
Two 25-foot Response Boats Small and the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Wahoo were dispatched from Station Port Angeles as was an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter. and a 45-foot Response boat Medium was launched from Station Bellingham.
All nine of the occupants of the canoe were rescued by the 45-foot Coast Guard vessel and transferred to the John Wayne Marina in Sequim, Washington. They were further transferred to local medical centers by EMS. SOme of the boaters were reported to be suffering from mild hypothermia.
The Coast Guard also towed the canoe into the marina in Sequim.