Sheriff's boat runs aground near Sinclair Island

The Guardian - photo courtesy of the sheriff
The Guardian
— image credit: photo courtesy of the sheriff's office

The San Juan County Sheriff's boat ran aground this past weekend while transporting patients to Bellingham.

On Saturday, Sept. 8 around 1:45 a.m., the "Guardian" ran aground on a submerged reef near Sinclair Island in Whatcom County. No one aboard was injured during the grounding.

The vessel was on an EMS call on Decatur Island and was transporting three patients to St. Joseph's Hospital in Bellingham when the grounding occurred. A San Juan County deputy sheriff, licensed by the Coast Guard as a captain, was at the helm.

"Guardian" had responded to Decatur around 11 p.m. on an injury rollover crash call and transported EMS personnel from San Juan Island. The boat is a marine ambulance and regularly transports medical patients to the mainland.

A U.S. Coast Guard cutter responded from Bellingham and personnel and patients were taken to the hospital.

The vessel was re-floated by the tide later that morning and travelled under its own power to Bellingham for assessment of damage. The incident is under investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard.


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