Nighttime Puget Sound swimmer rescued

A man who decided to go for a nighttime swim between the mainland and Whidbey Island was rescued.

A man who decided to go for a nighttime swim between the mainland and Whidbey Island after participating in some songs around the campfire and setting fire to a chunk of change wound up being rescued, to his apparent disappointment.

According to a report from the Snohomish County police scanner, a man set “a ton” of money on fire and ran into the water at the Mukilteo Lighthouse Park around 8:43 p.m. on Sunday, July 17.

He intended to swim the two miles from Mukilteo to South Whidbey and initially refused help, according to an article from the Lynnwood Times. Before the swim, he joined in on some worship songs with strangers around a bonfire on the beach. The Mukilteo Police Department, Mukilteo Fire Department, Mill Creek Police Department and Washington State Ferries all responded to the incident.

Ian Sterling, spokesperson for Washington State Ferries, said that the Kitsap ferry provided aid and, as a result, the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry route went down to one-boat service until 9:35 p.m. The ferry launched a rescue boat, which the determined swimmer was eventually coaxed to climb aboard.

“A lot of times ferries are going to be the closest, big vessel,” Sterling said. “It’s more likely for us to be nearby than, say, the Coast Guard.”

He added that this is the third time this month that state ferry crews have been involved in search and rescue operations.

“It tends to be a growing trend this summer, although maybe not a growing trend if someone decides to swim from Mukilteo to Whidbey Island in the nighttime,” he said.

A video posted online by the Lynnwood Times shows the swimmer safely arriving back on shore at the Mukilteo Lighthouse Park and being transported by ambulance away from the scene.