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The Coast Guard crews rescue 3 from boat in fire near Port Angeles, WA

The Coast Guard crews rescue 3 from boat in fire near Port Angeles, WA
Archive image: Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Amber Brewer, an aviation maintenance technician, Air Station Port Angeles, Wash., poses for a picture on the the flight line in front of an MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter, Jan. 26, 2018.
Brewer not only maintains the readiness of the aircraft, but is also a qualified flight mechanic responsible for overseeing the mechanical safety of the helicopter and conducting the essential hoisting operations conducted during rescue swimmer deployments.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer David Mosley.

PORT ANGELES, Wash. — The Coast Guard crews rescue three people from a boat in fire the Tuesday evening, to five nautical miles east of Port Angeles.

At approximately 6 p.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound received a call from a distressed mariner reporting a 48-foot vessel on fire half of a mile offshore and five miles east of Port Angeles near Sequim. The three men aboard the vessel were reportedly unable to combat the fire and needing emergency assistance.

A Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew and an Air Station Port Angeles MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter aircrew responded and were on scene at 6:15 p.m.

Two members of the​ RB-M boatcrew transferred the three distressed mariners from the burning vessel to the response boat before entering the engine room and attempting to extinguish the fire.

The Coast Guard crews rescue 3 from boat in fire near Port Angeles, WA
A fire re-flashes aboard a 48-foot vessel near Port Angeles, WA, Tuesday, May 4.
A Coast Guard boat crew from Station Port Angeles had removed three people from the boat and suppressed the flames before taking the vessel in tow. The tow was broken as the flames grew causing the vessel to sink.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Station Port Angeles.

After using an extinguisher and water pump to suppress the fire, the RB-M boatcrew placed the 48-foot yacht in tow and began transiting toward Port Angeles for rendezvous with the local fire department. While en route, the fire re-flashed and the boatcrew was forced to break tow as the flames engulfed the burning vessel.

The boatcrew remained on scene to monitor and secure the area, given the potential hazard to local vessel traffic. The yacht burned to the waterline and sank before the boatcrew transported the three rescued mariners to Boat Haven Marina. No fuel sheen was observed in the water upon departure from the scene of the sunken vessel.

«The fast action to call for help was essential to their survival,» said Petty Officer Alexander Polyak, watchstander at Sector Puget Sound command center. «Having a reliable means of communication, appropriate for your location and distance off shore, can mean the difference between life and death. We encourage all mariners to not only have cell phones, but make sure you have a VHF-FM marine-band radio to ensure communication capability in the event of an emergency.»

The Coast Guard crews rescue 3 from boat in fire near Port Angeles, WA
Coast Guard Station Port Angeles boat crew members aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium attempt to extinguish a boat fire using a water pump on Tuesday, May 4. Three people were rescued before the fire ultimately caused the 48-foot vessel to sink.
U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Clark.

Medical personnel examined one of the mariners for potential smoke inhalation. No further injuries were reported.


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