Four people have been rescued from the Strait of Juan de Fuca during a gale warning on the first leg of the Race to Alaska.
The U.S. Coast Guard responded to multiple reports of people in the water Monday morning (June 13) with nearby vessels also offering assistance.
In total, four people were rescued, according to a coast guard spokesperson, who noted some were showing signs of hypothermia but all had emergency live-saving equipment.
All were taken to emergency medical services.
#BreakingNews #Update: (1/2) Hoist cam footage from the rescue of 2 individuals who entered the water after their sailing vessel capsized. This is from the Port Angeles based #USCG helicopter crew. @KIRO7Seattle @komonews @KING5Seattle @fox13seattle @PenDailyNews @KIRONewsradio pic.twitter.com/9gDeA2eq6t— USCGPacificNorthwest (@USCGPacificNW) June 13, 2022
Coast guard vessels were on standby due to the race and remain in the area but most racers have turned back or are taking shelter near Protection Island or Dungeness Spit, on the Washington side of the border.
A gale warning and a small craft advisory were in effect for the area.
The individuals were sailing from Port Townsend, Wash., to Victoria during the first stage of the human-powered Race to Alaska (R2AK), which kicked off at 5 a.m.
Traditionally, teams have 48 hours to cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca but due to dangerous conditions in the forecast, this was extended, and racers now need to arrive in Victoria by 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
During R2AK, competitors are not allowed to use motors or have support teams.
An update on R2Ak’s website at 9:30 a.m. Monday, noted many teams are waiting for conditions to improve. A 10:13 a.m. update noted three teams had capsized – Razzle Dazzle, B Team and Runaway Redux – and all racers were safe.
The first team, Pure & Wild, arrived in Victoria at 9:38 a.m., followed by Pestou just after 10 and Ruf Duck at 10:16.
Teams are still scheduled to leave Victoria at noon on June 16 for the more than 1,100-km trek to Alaska.
#BreakingNews (1/2) Multiple #USCG crews and good samaritans are responding to reports of several people in the water in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Individuals were kayaking/sailing from Port Townsend to Victoria. So far, 4 people have been pulled from the water and taken to EMS pic.twitter.com/KXq11DblWw— USCGPacificNorthwest (@USCGPacificNW) June 13, 2022
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