Anacortes, WA – The Coast Guard and fellow first responders found and rescued a missing boater on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 after he was reported as an overdue person on Monday night.
68-Year old Gordon Hay, was reported overdue by his wife around 9:51 p.m. on Monday after he did not return from a regular outing from Fidalgo Marina in Anacortes.
The Coast Guard began search efforts by launching a boat crew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Station Bellingham. They also diverted the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Terrapin, an 87-foot patrol boat home ported in Bellingham. Additional Canadian Helicopter resources were requested from the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria in British Columbia.
According to a press release from the Coast Guard, the aircrew aboard a CH-149 Cormorant helicopter from the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 442nd Rescue Squadron at Comox, British Columbia, located the man’s capsized boat at 1:59 a.m. A rescue swimmer was lowered to the water to survey under and around the boat, but was unable to find the missing man.
The Jayhawk aircrew launched from Sector Columbia River at 3:56 a.m. and arrived in the search area at 6:39 a.m. Officers from the Swinomish Police Department aboard a patrol vessel reported a man waving his arms and hailing them while standing on Huckleberry Island at 7:37 a.m. The officers then directed the Jayhawk aircrew, which was able to safely hoist the man. The man was confirmed to be Hay.
Hay was reported in ambulatory condition and was wearing a wetsuit and lifejacket according to the press release. EMS was requested to meet the aircrew at the Anacortes Airport. Hay was transported to Island Hospital in Anacortes for further care.
Video by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read. U.S. Coast Guard
“This gentleman was lucky to survive this incident because he was wearing a wetsuit and a life jacket, but if he had been more prepared with any type of sound or signaling device he could have been rescued sooner,” said Cmdr, JoAnn Burdian, response division chief, Sector Puget Sound. “We are grateful for the help of our Canadian partners as well as the local responders who responded to help search for Mr. Hay. Without their efforts, we could still be out there searching and this case could have had a much different ending.”
Huckleberry Island is a small deserted island located east of Guemes Island in Padilla Bay.
Hay is responsible for contracting a salvage company to salvage his boat that was found capsized near Hat Island.