by: Alison Grande Updated:
SHORELINE, Wash. - Three men ran into trouble when their rowboat tipped over off Richmond Beach Saltwater Park Friday evening. They ended up in the water about 200 yards from shore. People on the beach heard the men calling for help and called 911.
“You could just see heads bobbing up and down, “ said Marji Friedmann who was watching from the beach.
Perry Burkholder was at the beach for his son’s birthday party. He saw one of the three men try to swim to shore, “He got half way through and started yelling help, help, help,” Burkholder said.
That man eventually made it to the beach. Marine rescue crews from Seattle, Bainbridge Island, the Coast Guard, and King County rushed to get to the other men. A pleasure boat got there first and pulled the men from the water.
The men were shuttled back to shore by police. When the men arrived at the beach they were put in an ATV.
“You could see he was shivering. He was wrapped up in a towel and he was really cold,” Friedmann noticed.
They weren’t wearing lifejackets. “You don’t realize how cold the water is until you’re in there. In a tough situation you realize how important some kind of life vest or preserve would help,” said Frank Lacey who watched the rescue.
The three men were taken to Northwest Hospital to be checked out, they were expected to be fine.
With soaring temperatures King County’s Marine Unit is working extra hours this weekend and is warning swimmers and boaters the water is very cold.
“You may not be able to get your breathing under control or it might cause your muscles to seize up and you won’t be able to swim, even if you’re a good swimmer, “said Sgt. Jim Knauss of the King County Sheriff’s Marine Unit.