Four kayakers rescued from Eagle Harbor

A few too many may have led four kayakers into the drink at the mouth of Eagle Harbor Monday evening.

Luckily, the island's fire department, police and the Coast Guard were able to rescue the four boaters before it was too late.

The Coast Guard and the Bainbridge Island Fire Department were called in at approximately 7:30 p.m. July 22 after a passing boater rescued two kayakers in distress from the frigid Eagle Harbor waters. The two men were treading water after escaping their capsized kayak. The boater brought the pair to the city dock where medics were waiting.

"It was two people with hypothermia," said Bainbridge Island Fire Marshal Luke Carpenter. "Medics determined that there was probably some alcohol involved."

But the rescue wasn't over.

"After conversations with these two people we realized there were two more out there," Carpenter said.

A kayak with two other men had also capsized, and all four became separated while swimming in the harbor.

It didn't take long to locate the other men. They swam to a ferry beacon at the mouth of Eagle Harbor, climbed up the ladder to a platform at the top, and waited.

By the time rescue crews reached them, the elements had taken a toll on the two kayakers.

"They were out of the water but suffering from hypothermia," Carpenter said. "One of the two (men) was incapable of going down the ladder himself, so we basically performed a rope rescue and lowered the other person down."

One of the men was loaded into an ambulance and sent to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The other man, who was in a more severe condition, was airlifted to Harborview.

The two kayakers at the city dock refused further medical attention and left the scene.


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