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.
Video from the #USCG rescue yesterday of the man and his dogs from Vancouver Island.— USCGPacificNorthwest (@USCGPacificNW) December 29, 2022
Full press release: https://t.co/OVItEPccZr@komonews @KIRO7Seattle @KING5Seattle @fox13seattle @VictoriaNews @CTVNewsVI @cbcnewsbc @CHEK_News @seattletimes @PenDailyNews @timescolonist pic.twitter.com/LwqJsUr93d
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.
The aircrew deployed a rescue swimmer, who saved the dog and helped get it to the Canadian Coast Guard Station in Victoria.
“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.
The man was reunited with his pets.
The successful mission was conducted along with Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria.
#BREAKING An Air Station Port Angeles aircrew rescued 1 person and 1 dog from a sailboat that grounded near Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The aircrew returned later that morning and located and rescued another dog! Awesome work to everyone involved including @VicJRCC_CCCOS pic.twitter.com/k7m0uQthHg— USCGPacificNorthwest (@USCGPacificNW) December 29, 2022