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Press Release | May 3, 2024

Coast Guard, other agencies respond to sunken vessel near Henry Island, Washington



Editors' Note: Click on images to download high resolution version

SEATTLE – The Coast Guard, Washington Department of Ecology, and San Juan County officials are responding to a vessel that sank Friday just west of Henry Island, Washington. 

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound received a report at approximately 6 a.m. Friday that the 48-foot commercial fishing vessel Chief Joseph was taking on water with one person and a dog aboard.

The person and dog departed the vessel aboard a life raft. 

Sector watchstanders directed the launch of an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles, a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Bellingham and the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Adelie to respond to the reported distress. 

The survivor and dog reached the shore of Henry Island aboard the life raft.

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Adelie located the survivor and the dog, transferred them aboard the cutter, and transported them to Port Angeles in stable condition. 

The Coast Guard helicopter aircrew conducted an overflight of the area and reported a 100-yard sheen on the water and a debris field from the sunken vessel.

The Coast Guard cutter crew remained on scene to recover the items before transporting the survivor and the dog to shore. 

The vessel has a maximum capacity of 850 gallons of diesel and was reported to be carrying approximately 400 to 500 gallons. 

Global Dive and Salvage, an oil spill response organization, has been contracted to evaluate the condition of the vessel and mitigate the threat of pollution to the environment. 

The cause of the incident is under investigation.