Update: U.S. Coast Guard helicopter training off Seacrest

November 5, 2012 at 2:16 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

2:16 PM: If you look closely at that photo shared by Mike Russell via Twitter, you’ll see a low-hovering orange-red helicopter, which attracted plenty of attention off Seacrest a little while ago. Mike and others say it dropped divers into the water; they then were picked up by small craft. We’re still trying to formally confirm but there is no indication of a rescue in the area so we’re fairly certain this was a drill; will add whatever we find out.

2:27 PM NOTE: It appears to have been an H-65 U.S. Coast Guard helicopter.

ADDED 4:49 PM: Two photos by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand – above, one of the divers right over the water, under the helicopter; below, you can also see the Coast Guard Defender Class boat off to the right.

And just a moment after we added those photos, we got confirmation from the USCG – it was a training exercise.


  1. As I was commuting in this morning I noticed two Coast Guard boats escorting a Ferry into Coleman dock.

    Comment by elisaid — 2:20 pm November 5, 2012 #

  2. That’s done often as practice. The smaller boats often are brought to Don Armeni on trailers and launched from there. But helicopter diver drops in a high-visibility place … unusual! (Except during the Maritime Day and Seafair demonstrations …)

    Comment by WSB — 2:26 pm November 5, 2012 #

  3. We, Mike Russell and I, happened to be at Marination Ma Kai working on a project when the helicopter came in and started hovering. We saw at least four people lowered into the Sound. Only one was pulled back up. It appeared that a boat, presumably a Coast Guard vessel, was waiting nearby for the others because after the chopper flew off, the boat also sped away in the same direction.

    Comment by Jenny — 2:33 pm November 5, 2012 #

  4. The crewman have to certify with helo-ops every 6 months or so. The 65 is usually the choice. The HH-60 really puts up a lot of rotor wash. I was stationed in New York harbor, we always chose a less populated area.

    Comment by Guy — 2:33 pm November 5, 2012 #

  5. Co-publisher Patrick was headed over to Don Armeni to see if he could find any shoreside USCG to ask, since they have yet to call me back.

    Comment by WSB — 2:35 pm November 5, 2012 #

  6. Just added a much better shot to my FB page of one of the divers jumping in (not all were lowered).

    Comment by MikeRussellFoto — 2:44 pm November 5, 2012 #

  7. Noticed my link wasn’t working. The other photo I added is here, https://www.facebook.com/mikerussellfoto, in case anyone wants to see another view of it. :-)

    Comment by MikeRussellFoto — 5:50 pm November 5, 2012 #

  8. Great photos

    Comment by Greenpeace — 8:14 pm November 5, 2012 #

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