Men stranded in harbor during windstorm

Published on Thu, Oct 30, 2003
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Men stranded in harbor during windstorm

Shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday, as a strong windstorm was pushing through the area, Blaine police officers responded with North Whatcom Fire and Rescue Services (NWFRS) to the harbormaster�s office at Blaine Harbor regarding a man who was hypothermic after winds knocked him into the water.

According to Blaine police chief Mike Haslip, officers found two men at the port office who were soaking wet and appeared to be suffering from hypothermia. While they assisted with warming the pair, officers learned that one of the men had been aboard a boat moored in Blaine Marina.

As they were leaving the vessel, one of the men lost his footing in the high winds and fell into the water. The second man and his wife (the boat�s owner) were with him at the time and saw the accident. They tried to rescue him, but were not able to get him back onto the float, and their shouts for help went unheard because of the noise from the windstorm, Haslip said.

About 20 minutes into the rescue, the boat�s owner fell into the water, leaving his wife on the float alone. The trio estimated that it was almost an hour and a half before the two men were able to pull themselves up out of the water. They then walked to the harbormaster�s office and were met by a port security officer.

NWFRS personnel arrived and instituted a warming protocol on the patients. The two men, both of whom live in lower B.C., were transported to St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham for further evaluation. The men were not identified as of press time.