U.S. Coast Guard rescues stranded sailor, two dogs offshore of Vancouver Island

A man and his two canine companions were sailing off the coast of Vancouver Island Wednesday when their sailboat lost power and was swept onto some rocks prompting a search and rescue mission.

The U.S. Coast Guard located the grounded boat not far from Jordan River as it was being battered by large waves off the southwest tip of the Island.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew was dispatched from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles to rescue the man — and ultimately saved the pooches, too.

It was around 1 a.m. when the sailor and one of his dogs were hoisted to safety.

The man was taken for medical care at the Canadian Coast Guard Station in Victoria.

Later Wednesday morning, the aircrew returned to the area to assess what was left of the boat, both in terms of pollution and potential salvage.

That’s when they found another dog within the wreckage and set out to save it, too.

One lucky dog was found among the wreckage. Photo: U.S. Coast Guard

The aircrew deployed a rescue swimmer, who saved the dog and helped get it to the Canadian Coast Guard Station in Victoria.

A rescued dog aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles after being hoisted from near Vancouver Island, B.C Photo: U.S. Coast Guard

“AET3 Austen Marshall and AST1 Lucas Wengrin did a phenomenal job effecting a challenging rescue in the heavy surf, as the sailing vessel smashed against the rocks,” Lt. John Schultz, a pilot at Air Station Port Angeles, said in a statement.

“Their patience and technical expertise in a highly dynamic environment directly lead to the safe recovery of the mariner and his two dogs. We are thankful for the happy outcome!” Schultz added.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Austen Marshall, an avionics electrical technician and a flight mechanic at Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles, sits near a rescued dog. Photo: U.S. Coast Guard

The man was reunited with his pets.

The successful mission was conducted along with Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria.

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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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