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Coast Guard Cutter Adelie [WPB 87333] transits near Deception Pass, Wash., Dec. 11, 2021. Several Coast Guard units were in the area to assist when several kayakers capsized during a scheduled race. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)
Coast Guard Cutter Adelie [WPB 87333] transits near Deception Pass, Wash., Dec. 11, 2021. Several Coast Guard units were in the area to assist when several kayakers capsized during a scheduled race. (U.S. Coast Guard photo) (Steven Strohmaier/U.S. Coast Guard)

(Tribune News Service) — Dozens of kayakers were rescued Saturday from Deception Pass, Wash., during a paddling and rowing race, The Deception Pass Challenge, that was thrown off course by strong wind.

The Coast Guard and various local emergency responders rescued several race participants from the water who had capsized, and assisted many more still on their boats in reaching safety.

The Coast Guard, which dispatched two patrol boats and a helicopter to the scene, pulled seven people from the water and helped another 30 kayakers get off the dangerous water.

Multiple 911 calls reported the scene about 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

Nearly half of the reported 75 participants were in need of rescue.

In addition to the Coast Guard, a Skagit County marine rescue unit and two North Whidbey Fire Marine Rescue units also responded.

"This incident highlights the outstanding interagency teamwork we have here in the greater Puget Sound's search and rescue system," Coast Guard Capt. Patrick Hilbert, the commander of Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, said in a news release. "It also reinforces the importance of wearing a life jacket and constantly assessing the increased risks posed by the weather and water conditions that are always changing here in the Pacific Northwest."

The rescue operation was successful, with no deaths of injuries reported.

kcauvel@skagitpublishing.com

(c)2021 the Skagit Valley Herald (Mount Vernon, Wash.)

Visit the Skagit Valley Herald (Mount Vernon, Wash.) at www.goskagit.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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