Keystone ferry stops for overturned canoe

"A false alarm brought a United States Coast Guard helicopter over Whidbey Island waters Friday after the Washington State Ferry Quinault sailed by an overturned canoe on its way to Port Townsend. After leaving the Keystone ferry terminal, the crew of the Quinault recovered a canoe and oar about halfway to Port Townsend at 6:19 p.m. Ferry employees requested a search and rescue from the Coast Guard, which couldn't find anyone in the water.We are often the first responders, said Washington State Ferries spokeswoman Susan Harris. We offer assistance whenever we can.Sean Rankins, who owns the sailboat Hav Hesen out of Port Townsend, called the Coast Guard just after the canoe was recovered by the Quinault. Rankins was attempting to tow the canoe with his sailboat when high winds and choppy seas parted the tow line and the canoe overturned. Rankins couldn't recover the canoe or report the incident until reaching calmer water.The canoe recovery caused a 15-minute delay of the 6:30 p.m. ferry sailing from Keystone to Port Townsend, WSF said.The incident wasn't anything new for Washington State Ferries, which responds to distress calls regularly. We are probably the biggest single source of search and rescue in Puget Sound, Harris said. We do that type of stuff all the time. "

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