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Coast Guard airlifts stranded boaters

The Coast Guard airlifted two people after their skiff ran aground in Skagit Bay just southeast of La Conner, Wash., Thursday.

At approximately 6:00 p.m., Skagit County, Wash. Sheriff’s Dept. received a call stating a 20-ft inflatable skiff had run aground in shallow water just south of Goat Island.

A Skagit County Sheriff’s Dept. vessel crew arrived on scene at approximately 7:00 p.m., but were unable to reach the skiff due to shallow water.

Skagit County Sheriff’s Dept. notified the Coast Guard that the two persons aboard the skiff were advised to wait for the tide to come in so they could return to shore safely.

Later, the Coast Guard received a call stating the two persons had attempted to wade to shore but were now wet, back in the skiff and facing the early stages of hypothermia.

At approximately 8:00 p.m. an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Port Angeles, Wash. arrived on scene.

After a complex approach plan, the crew was able to hoist the stranded persons and transport them to the Skagit Regional Airport where they were medically evaluated and transported to their vehicles.

The Coast Guard encourages all boaters to remain aware of weather and tidal conditions and to wear a life jacket.

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