Crew members of the Washington State ferry Tokitae rescued three men Saturday night when their 20-foot SeaMaster began taking on water and the engine died.
Mukilteo Fire Department emergency responders and a unit from Snohomish County Fire District responded to a reported boat sinking with three persons on board approximately a half-mile from the shoreline and south of Mukilteo Lighthouse Park at 9:29 p.m.
Three men ranging in age from their 30s to 70s were on board, according to a press release from the Mukilteo Fire Department. After the initial 911 call, the boat had declared a mayday and the men shot a flare in the sky to assist being found in the dark waters.
A Snohomish County Fire District boat was en route when the Tokitae launched a rescue effort and was able to get the three men out of the water and aboard the ferry. Passengers on the Tokitae assisted in spotting the boat from the observation decks.
All three men were safe and did not need any medical aid. The last fire unit cleared at 10:51 p.m.
In addition to the Tokitae and fire units, the U.S. Coast Guard and Mukilteo Police Department also assisted.
“Our crews receive extensive training in this area and conduct on the water drills regularly so that they’re prepared for exactly this type of situation,” said Ian Sterling, public information officer for Washington State Ferries.
Mukilteo Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Brian McMahan said he did not know what caused the boat to sink, but that the men were well prepared for the incident.
“They were prepared with personal floatation devices and a flare gun,” he said.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the vessel will be recovered.
The agencies did not identify the three men involved in the incident.