Ken Mednick of Bremerton was taking advantage of the sunny weather Thursday, riding in his 12-foot skiff toward Port Orchard. He thought he might pick up a loaf of bread at the Morningside Bread & Pastry Company on Bay Street.
Mednick was in the middle of the channel on Sinclair Inlet, when suddenly waves slopped over the side of the boat, half filling it with water.
“I don’t really have a good explanation of how it happened,” he said. “It was the direction of the wind, the direction of the waves and the speed of the boat.”
With temperatures in the mid-30s and a light wind out of the Northeast, it felt more like 28 degrees, the National Weather Service was reporting.
Mednick called 911 on his cell phone at 1:36 p.m., and started bailing. Two security boats from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard were dispatched. By the time they reached the craft about 10 minutes later, it had drifted toward the Port Orchard Marina.
One of the PSNS boats towed Mednick back to the Port of Bremerton Marina.
Bremerton Fire Department crews were on hand.
“This type of weather, wind and cold, if he was in a boat half full of water, you always worry about hypothermia,” said Battalion Chief Todd Thorsen, with Bremerton’s Fire Station 1.
Aid and medic crews were called off shortly after the vessel was intercepted, however. Mednick was soaked to the waist, but otherwise unharmed.