Neighbors pull family from water
By MICHAELA MARX WHEATLEY
South Whidbey Record Island Life
August 6, 2008 · Updated 10:21 AM
LANGLEY — The quick response of some Langley neighbors may have saved a Seattle man’s life when he fell into the choppy waters of Saratoga Passage Friday.
The father and son were on a boat crabbing when the father was swept overboard, said Paul Busch, assistant fire chief at Fire District 3.
“He had stepped on the back corner of the boat to pull a pot. A big wave came over the corner and down he went,” Busch said.
The Fire District 3’s water rescue team pulled the man from the water, after some locals, who had observed the incident near the Eagles Nest Bed and Breakfast, began a rescue mission.
Mike Cannon and Jeff Wallace of Langley jumped into action, launching two kayaks.
“We ran to the neighbors and got some paddles,” Cannon said.
They located the man and his son on the water by calling out and waiting for a reply. Night had fallen on Saratoga Passage.
“We could kind of see their silhouettes. We yelled and they yelled back. The boy called, ‘Help my dad,’” Cannon said. “The kid was very scared.”
Meanwhile, two unidentified young women also heard the cries for help and had paddled out in a row boat.
“The girls were very level-headed,” Cannon said. “They had taken the kid on board, got the kid’s wet shirt off and his lifejacket back on.”
But with rowboats and kayaks the group couldn’t pull the father out of the water.
Cannon said the fire district’s boat was approaching.
“We showed our lights and guided them over,” he said. The fire district’s rescue team took over from there.
“They had taken the boy aboard,” Busch said. “We pulled the man from the water when we arrived. He was in there for about 45 minutes.”
Fire District 3 was called shortly after 8:30 p.m., Busch said. The man got away with some mild hypothermia. Paramedics dropped the man and his son off where they were staying in Langley.Contact South Whidbey Record Island Life Michaela Marx Wheatley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 221-5300.