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Bellingham, Washington – Boater Rescued from Bellingham Bay

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Posted on January 27, 2020

Bellingham, Washington  (January 23, 2020) – A boater was rescued from rough weather conditions at Bellingham Bay on Thursday. According to the report from, the boater, a 26 year-old man from Ferndale, was found to be suffering from early signs of hypothermia. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

According tot he report, the man was rowing a 7-foot dinghy across Bellingham Bay to an anchored sailboat that he was working on when he lost his oars. The man did not have a life jacket or communication equipment with him, but a good Samaritan spotted him in distress and called for help.  The Coast Guard responded to the incident, rescued the boater and transferred him to Bellingham Fire’s EMT’s, who then transported him to a hospital.

About Boat Accidents

Like any other vehicle, boats can be involved in dangerous accidents. According to data from the American Boating Association, in the year 2016 a total of 4463 recreational boating accidents were reported, with 701 deaths and 2903 injuries. Additionally, in 80% of accidents where the cause of death was known, the victims of fatal boats accidents drowned, with 83% of drowning victims not wearing a life jacket. Additionally, in 171 known accidents, at least one person was struck by a propeller, resulting in 24 deaths and 175 injuries. As for the type of vessel used in these accidents, the highest percentage of deaths was associated with open motorboats at 47%, followed by kayaks at 13% and canoes with 9%. As for the cause of the accidents, alcohol is know to be the leading known contributing factor to fatal boat accidents. Other cause of accidents included operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, excessive speed, and machinery failure.

Preventing boating accidents comes down to ensuring boat safety regulations are followed. Like with any other vehicle, the vessel itself must be checked to make sure it is safe to use. Proper knowledge of the area where one will be boating is also encouraged. It is also important to make sure that all people on the boat have access to safety devices such as life jackets. Preventing accidents ensures not only our safety, but the safety of others.