AP NEWS

3 Washington state duck hunters rescued after boat overturns

December 30, 2019 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) — Three Washington state duck hunters were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard and a witness after their boat overturned near the Skagit River, authorities said.

One hunter was assisted to safety by the witness near the entrance to the river in northwestern Washington Sunday, KOMO-TV reports.

The Skagit County Sheriff’s Office requested Coast Guard assistance after an unsuccessful attempt to rescue the other two men stranded in mudflats near the river.

A Coast Guard rescue helicopter conducting a training operation in the San Juan Islands diverted to the scene.

The men were in knee-high water trying to walk to shore and a rescue swimmer helped hoist the men to the helicopter.

The hunters were reported in good condition after medics examined them at a nearby baseball field.

The Coast Guard credited the men for their actions after the boat capsized.

“They stayed with the vessel, got out of the water as best they could and used life jackets they had kept on board,” said Ensign Joshua Straits, the helicopter pilot. “These decisions limited the effects of hypothermia and helped us to locate them quickly.”