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Coast Guard responds to boats in distress

In two separate incidents on opposite ends of the country, Coast Guard crews came to the aid of boaters. Lives were saved, but the boats were lost.

A Coast Guard boat crew rescued eight persons in the water after their vessel sank approximately two miles east of Dennis, Mass., at approximately 2:30 p.m., Tuesday.

Watchstanders from Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England Command Center received a distress call from the 21-foot pleasure vessel, at approximately 1 p.m. The vessel reported that they were taking on water with eight people aboard.

A Coast Guard Station Cape Cod Canal 45-foot response boat medium crew was in the area and redirected to assist. The rescue crew located and retrieved all eight people safety from the water. The 21-foot pleasure vessel was found completely submerged.

All eight people were found with no reported injuries and were all wearing life jackets.

There are no impacts to the environment at this time.

“They were all wearing their life jackets, which was good to see,” said senior chief petty officer Ronny German. “This is how people survive until we can get to them.”

On the West Coast, the Coast Guard rescued a man after his sailboat ran aground and caught fire Tuesday near Spieden Island, Wash.

Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, located in Seattle, received a report of a red flare and possible vessel on fire approximately one-half mile southwest of Spieden Island and one mile north of San Juan Island, Wash., at approximately 1:30 a.m.

Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Port Angeles and a 33-foot law enforcement crew from Station Bellingham.

Both crews arrived on scene to find a 24-foot sailing vessel on fire and a man standing in shallow water near the blaze.

The crew was able to get within earshot of the man and learned he was the only person on board. Because of the shallow, rocky bottom, the crew could not reach the man.

The Dolphin helicopter crew lowered a rescue swimmer and hoisted the man to the helicopter.

The helicopter crew transported the man to Bellingham where he was placed in the care of local EMS. No major injuries were reported.

The sailing vessel burned to the water line and contained approximately 20 gallons of gasoline. The cause of the fire has not been determined.