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October 17, 2019 | 4:06pm
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New marine rescue craft called out for sinking boat off Lummi Island today

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Whatcom County Fire District 17 (WCFD17), serving Sandy Point Shores, Sandy Point Heights, Neptune Heights, Neptune Beach and western portions of the Lummi Indian Reservation, recently activated a donated Boston Whaler converted into a marine rescue vessel now known officially as Marine Rescue 56 (MR56). It has since been put to use assisting boaters in distress including an incident today.

MR56 was dispatched about 10am this morning along with Whatcom County Fire District 11 (serving Lummi Island) fire and aid units along with the Coast Guard to a report of a pleasure boat in distress off Lummi Island. When MR56 arrived on scene, according to WCFD17 Fire Chief Jim Petrie, the sinking boat’s owner thought they could make it back to the Sandy Point Marina so they escorted him there. “He had so much water coming in that his bilge pumps could not keep up. We deployed our boat’s fire pump and drafted water from his boat.” With the aid of MR56’s pumps, the boat owner was able to get to the marina and had time to retrieve his truck and trailer to pull the boat from the water before it could sink.

“The boat did sustained damage to on board electronics due to salt water, however no fuel was spilled in the water,” Petrie said.

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