07/02/2018: "Orcas Island Fire & Rescue Responds To Boat Accident"
( Seth Ybarra photo)
At 12:56pm Orcas Island Fire and Rescue was dispatched to a call of a boat accident in the area of Sucia Island, in Echo Bay. A 40ft Sailboat had struck rock and was taking on water. At the time of the accident, there were three on board, two adults and a female. The female adult sustained serious injuries in the accident.
Multiple private boaters responded to the distress call issued by the Coast Guard. Among those responding on private vessels were an off-duty paramedic and an off-duty physician. Responders to the scene included US Coast Guard responded with helicopter and watercraft, San Juan County Sheriff's Department, and Washington State Park Vessel transporting OIFR staff.
Once OIFR arrived on 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," according to 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 injured female was taken by boat away from the scene and then transferred to US 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 the boat to Anacortes.