Three rescued after boat loses power, capsizes in Cattle Pass

Survival suits proved a wise precaution for three people after their boat capsized near the south end of San Juan Island Thursday at about 10:30 a.m.

The three boaters, identified by the San Juan County Sheriff's Department as a man and a woman from Friday Harbor, and a Federal Way man, ended up in the water near Goose Island shortly after their 17-foot Boston Whaler lost power and quickly became swamped by waves and the swift moving currents of Cattle Pass.

Their efforts to bail water out of the boat and keep it afloat proved unsuccessful as waves poured over its transom.

The three were rescued by a nearby boater after about 20 minutes in the water and, though one of the men suffered a minor injury, they were wet but mostly unharmed, according to a statement issued by the Sheriff's Department.

They were evaluated by the paramedics after being transferred to the Sheriff's boat Confidence, and then shuttled to Friday Harbor.

According to the Sheriff's Department, neither alcohol or intoxicants played a role in the mishap, though the incident remains under investigation by local authorities and the U.S. Coast Guard. The disabled boat was towed to Friday Harbor by Vessel Assist.

All three were appropriately equipped for the conditions and the circumstances, according to the Sheriff's Department. Survival suits provide flotation as well as thermal protection in and out of the water, and flotation devices are considered essential for surviving a prolonged period in San Juan waters, a chilly 45 degrees Fahrenheit, on average.




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