South Whidbey Fire/EMS’s fireboat made a quick dash to Hat Island, also known as Gedney Island, early Friday morning in response to reports that a vessel had gone aground.
The district was dispatched at 5:20 a.m., and a crew of three aboard the Salish Responder, officially known as “Marine Three,” arrived just after 6 a.m. The stranded powerboat was located soon after in shallow water and the former passengers found shivering on the beach.
“Six people aboard, no life jackets,” Deputy Chief Jon Beck said. “They were on shore when we got there.”
The passengers had abandoned the boat and waded to shore.
South Whidbey’s crew didn’t attempt a beach landing but instead remained offshore in a support role for other emergency responders. Five of the passengers were picked up at Hat Island’s private marina and transported to Everett; the sixth remained with the vessel, Beck said.
No one was hurt in the incident.