Ferry crew rescues man who fell from boat in Elliott Bay

Ferry crew rescues man who fell from boat in Elliott Bay
Photo courtesy: Leslie Pakulski
SEATTLE -- A crew from the ferry boat Wenatchee rescued a man who had been knocked off his boat into the chilly waters of Elliott Bay Monday afternoon.

The Coast Guard received a distress call around 11 a.m., stating a man was clinging to the side of his boat in the waters near the Elliott Bay Marina, said Kyle Moore with Seattle Fire. The man eventually fell into the water.

The Washington State ferry Wenatchee and Coast Guard responded to help, with a crew from the Wenatchee reaching the man first and plucking him from the water. The man was brought via boat to a nearby fire station.

Fire officials said the man was cold, but didn't have any apparent injuries. Medics took him to Harborview Medical Center to be checked out just in case.

However, the boat didn't fare as well. Engines still running, it continued on and eventually struck the rocks on the marina's breakwater and sank, Moore said. Officials were working to secure the boat and booms were in place to contain any leaking fuel and oil.

The man told investigators he was knocked overboard while trying to deploy a fender on the side of his boat and was in the water about 10 minutes before being rescued. Fire officials said the man was wearing a life jacket and carried a hand-held marine radio that allowed him to communicate his distress call.

A spokesperson for the ferries said the Wenatchee would be running a bit behind schedule on its Seattle-Bainbridge Island runs for the afternoon after assisting in the rescue efforts.