Orcas Island Fire and Rescue was dispatched to a call of a boat accident in the area of Sucia Island, in Echo Bay at approximately 1 p.m. on Monday, July 2.
A 40-foot sailboat had struck some rocks and was taking on water. At the time of the accident, there were three people on board. A woman on the boat sustained serious injuries in the wreck.
Multiple private boaters responded to the distress call issued by the Coast Guard. Among those were an off-duty paramedic and an off-duty physician. Emergency responders included U.S. Coast Guard with a helicopter and watercraft, San Juan County Sheriff’s Department and a Washington State Park vessel transporting OIFR staff. Once OIFR arrived on the scene, they were able to utilize their equipment and radio communications to stabilize the patient and coordinate her necessary transport.
“The best part of this whole thing,” said Seth Ybarra with OIFR, “was that people who had never met before came together in a coordinated way to provide the care needed to the patient.”
The woman was taken by boat away from the scene and then transferred to U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and was transported to Saint Joseph’s Hospital in serious but stable condition. Vessel assistance responded and immediately took action to prevent the boat from sinking and tow it to Anacortes.