The U.S. Coast Guard has released aerial footage of a dramatic rescue of two young men whose canoe capsized near Bellingham, Wash., Saturday morning.
A Good Samaritan spotted the pair, aged 16 and 22, in the waters of the Portage Channel, near Lummi Island and called the Coast Guard around 10:50 a.m. to get help.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection aircrew managed to locate the two canoeists and guided a boat crew from Station Bellingham to rescue them, capturing the whole thing on camera.
Neither the teenager nor the man was wearing a life-jacket. Both were transported to Bellingham, where they received treatment for signs of mild hypothermia.
“The close working relationship between the Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the outstanding actions of the boat crew resulted in two lives saved,” said Capt. Robert Pearce, chief of incident management for the Coast Guard 13th District.
“This case also demonstrates the importance of paddlesport enthusiasts having the right equipment, especially life-jackets, which should be worn at all times.”
Anyone participating in paddle sports, such as canoeing, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding, is urged to wear a buoyant life-jacket and dress appropriately for the water temperature, rather than air temperature.