Employees from the Department of Transportation’s Marine Division recently rescued a capsized kayaker in the water about a mile off Alki Point, bringing him to safety aboard their Vashon Island ferry.
On Friday, March 13, 2015, Captain Frank Massaro and Deckhands Joe Chrisman and Scott Denhart, were operating the M/V Melissa Ann serving the Vashon Island route. After departing Vashon Island at approximately 5:58 p.m. bound for Seattle, the crew on the bridge noticed something in the water approximately one-half to three-quarter miles away. They slowed the vessel and looked through the binoculars and determined that there was a person in the water who was waving and appeared to be clinging to a capsized kayak without a life jacket. They immediately notified the other crew on board to announce there was a person in the water and they would be picking the person up on the starboard side of the vessel. Coast Guard was notified of the situation while en route to rescue the stranded kayaker.
The Crew readied the “man overboard” equipment and Jacob’s ladder. Once they arrived on scene they threw a life ring and brought the man next to the vessel and he climbed the Jacob’s ladder on his own, without assistance. The crew then retrieved the capsized kayak. One of the passengers on board happened to be an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) who assisted with first aid and determined that no further medical assistance was required.
Thanks to our employees, this kayaker was able to be returned safely to West Seattle, but the incident shows the importance of wearing a life jacket. Do you wear on when you’re on the water? Find out how you can stay safe in and on the water.