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2 Rescued from ELLA BELLA

Coast Guard crews rescued two people after their vessel ran aground three miles east of Port Angeles, Wash., Thursday.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles hoisted the two people and transferred them to awaiting EMS at the station with no reported injuries at 7:39 p.m.

The captain of the 32-foot recreational vessel Ella Bella contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle via VHF-FM channel 16 around 5:15 p.m., stating that his vessel had lost power and was dragging anchor.

The man requested help contacting a vessel assist company to tow his vessel to shore. Watchstanders attempted to connect him with an available company, but representatives faced difficulties establishing communication with the vessel captain.

The Dolphin aircrew and a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Coast Guard Station Port Angeles launched to assist around 5:42 p.m. The RB-M crew was unable to approach the vessel due to shallow water depth.

At 5:57 p.m., the captain of Ella Bella called Coast Guard watchstanders again, stating that he and his passenger were abandoning ship into their life raft. 

The two people on the life raft drifted toward shore. The Dolphin crew lowered their rescue swimmer to the beach and hoisted the two people into the helicopter. 

“Our crews performed exceptionally during this dynamic case,” said Eric Cookson, command duty officer at Sector Puget Sound. “The shallow water depth and high winds made the rescue particularly challenging, but they were able to think on their feet and get the two people the help they required.”

Ella Bella remains hard aground three miles east of Port Angeles. The owner is working with a vessel assist company to remove the vessel.

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