On March 12th at approximately 6:30 a.m. a frantic call was placed to the Seattle Police Harbor Patrol Unit by a Lake Union Crew coach. The caller stated that a sudden wind storm had come up and eight people had been thrown from their boat into the 44 degree water of Lake Union just west of the Harbor Station. SPD Harbor Unit officers sprang into action immediately and launched two boats to speed to the scene.
When officers arrived it was very dark with significant wave action making the approach to the eight victims in the frigid water very difficult. To make matters worse, most of the people in the water were wearing dark clothing, making it very difficult for the officers to spot them.
Once located, officers immediately began extracting the people from the water. At about the same time a boat with four people on board had rowed into the relatively calm waters in front of the Harbor Patrol Station and was in the process of being assisted by officers when they capsized the vessel throwing all four into the water near the patrol boat docks. Officers were able to recover all four people from the water and bring them to safety.
Officers brought the victims to the Harbor Patrol Station to warm them up. After a short time they were all transported back to The Lake Union Crew House.
Due to the Harbor Unit officers’ ultra-quick response, professional training and dedication, there were no injuries to anyone involved in the incident, no damage to the crew vessels, and all 12 people were saved.