Update: Boaters hurt in collision off Alki Point


(top photo shows damaged sailboat, with Coast Guard boat nearby)



Thanks to the tipster who called with word of this – All that activity in the water off Alki Point is because of what the Coast Guard says was a collision between a sailboat and a power boat. Three people are reported to have minor injuries. The Coast Guard has a 41-foot vessel involved in the rescue, and says the Seattle Fire Department is involved too. Helicopters (including TV-news choppers) are also in the area. 3:34 PM UPDATE: The fire boat is reportedly bringing the injured people to Don Armeni – we’ve got a crew there and just confirmed with SFD that the fire boat’s heading that way, to meet up with an engine that just pulled up. 3:49 PM UPDATE: The injured boaters have now arrived at Don Armeni, where fire, medics, and TV crews are all gathered too. We just added two cameraphone photos from the Don Armeni arrival – looks like it was actually one of the smaller Coast Guard boats involved in bringing them in. More as we get it. 4:10 PM UPDATE: We’re south of Alki Point now, and what looks to be the sailboat involved in this (TV news choppers hovering over it are a giveaway) is closer to the Emma Schmitz-vicinity Beach Drive shoreline and coming close to shore – we’re heading that way. 4:36 PM UPDATE: We’re still at Emma Schmitz, where Coast Guard boats have been up next to the sailboat that we believe to be the one that was involved (hard to tell for sure because two are out there):


The TV news choppers continue to hover, so if you’re in front of a TV you may have seen more from their megazoom aerial cameras. Meantime, back at Don Armeni, an SFD briefing confirms the three people who were hurt will all be OK – two with leg injuries, one with head and neck lacerations. A fourth person was brought ashore but is not hurt. 4:47 PM UPDATE: The sailboat has moved further away from where we are – it’s southwest of Emma Schmitz, probably more directly west of Lowman Beach, but out in the middle of the sound. 5:01 PM UPDATE: Looks like the damaged sailboat is now heading slowly north, and will be passing by here (Emma Schmitz still) before too long, it’s got a boat ahead of it and one behind, escorting it. 5:26 PM: We’re watching now from Constellation Park, just south of Alki Point – it’s closer in as it approaches this part of the shore, with a smaller Coast Guard boat right alongside. Definitely a sizable yacht; haven’t seen anything yet about its name or ownership (let us know if you have, and by the way, THANKS AGAIN to everyone who called, texted, etc., as this unfolded – once you let us know, then we can get busy helping find out what’s up so everybody else knows too! call, text, e-mail 24/7 – all the options are here). 5:48 PM UPDATE: The sailboat and its entourage are starting to pass Alki right now, heading east (we’re watching now from just west of 64th) — spoke too soon, now it’s pointed north, perpendicular to the beach, still offshore at 64th … then headed northward, where we’re ending our surveillance. Here’s video we got earlier, just after the injured boaters were brought to Don Armeni:

8:18 PM UPDATE: The Coast Guard has issued a news release identifying the sailboat involved in the collision as the chartered 70-footer Neptune’s Car; the other sailboat we saw was the Obsession, out picking up some of the passengers who were still on Neptune’s Car after the original rescue. Here’s the full text of the USCG release:

The Coast Guard, Seattle Fire and Police responded to a vessel collision one mile off of Alki Point, here, where a 22-foot runabout and a 70-foot charter sailboat, Neptune’s Car, collided Monday.

At 3:03 p.m., Coast Guard Sector Seattle received a call on VHF channel 16 reporting the collision had occurred.

Station Seattle launched a 41-foot rescue boat crew.

Two passengers aboard the Neptune’s Car and the operator of the runabout were transferred to the Don Armeni ramp in West Seattle to a waiting emegergency medical crew.

The remaining 13 passengers and two crew members aboard the Neptune’s Car have been removed from the vessel, transferred to the sailing vessel Obsession and are returning to Pier 54, here.

The Neptune’s Car was taking on water from a large hole on the forward port side but the flooding was stopped by rescuers. The Neptune’s Car was able to move under its own power and is returning to CSR Marine escorted by a Coast Guard small boat.

ADDED LATE MONDAY NIGHT: Here’s a short video clip of Neptune’s Car while it was still off Beach Drive shoreline, the gash plainly in view.

22 Replies to "Update: Boaters hurt in collision off Alki Point"

  • JenV September 15, 2008 (4:05 pm)

    do we know if it was a jetski???? I can’t reach my BF and he said he was going out on the ski this afternoon.

  • flowerpetal September 15, 2008 (4:16 pm)

    It looks like it is not a jetski JenV. The boats are a Bayliner Trophy and the Sailboat. Perhaps your BF is busy being a concerned observer or witness.

  • JenV September 15, 2008 (4:16 pm)

    whew. nevermind. I found him. Hope everyone is ok in this collision!

  • Diane September 15, 2008 (4:31 pm)

    Hoping the injuries are minor. The helicopters are sure wasting alot of gas and making alot of noise here above MeeKwaMooks. I guess they want to broadcast anything but the financial news today.
    The news (ABC4) now say bumps and bruises—cannot beleive all this for that. Non event anyone?

  • JH September 15, 2008 (4:32 pm)

    I love this blog. I have been hearing helicopters from the tip of Schmitz Park, and here’s my answer in one second!

  • GenHillOne September 15, 2008 (4:48 pm)

    That looks like a pretty big sailboat (yacht!), with a pretty big hole in the front…must have been quite an impact. If I remember correctly, sail power has right of way over motorboat, yes?

  • JenV September 15, 2008 (4:59 pm)

    Human-powered boats (canoes and rowboats) have the right of way over sailboats, which in turn have the right of way over powerboats.

    when I am on the jetski, I yield to everyone….

  • BB September 15, 2008 (7:23 pm)

    errr… sail craft only have right of way when they are “under power of sail only”.

    Canoes, rowboats, etc. have the right of way if they are properly marked.

    Any commercial vessel has right of way ALWAYS.

  • Rebecca September 15, 2008 (7:33 pm)

    Oh hoh hoh. If I am correct, the vessels involved are the Obsession and Neptune’s Car. They go out on sails from Pier 54. I’m surprised none of the EBWT regular riders don’t recognize them, as they’re usually parked right beside the Sightseer on the Seattle side.

    Here’s the Let’s Go Sailing! website: http://www.sailingseattle.com/

  • SomeGuy September 15, 2008 (8:14 pm)

    So VW makes power boats now? FAHRVUGNUGGEN!

  • WSB September 15, 2008 (8:18 pm)

    The Coast Guard just posted a news release which I will add to the report above. The Neptune’s Car is the one involved in the collision; the Obsession was the one that went out to pick up the remaining passengers (NC was on a charter). Even with extreme zoom, I couldn’t see the names of either boat in the blinding afternoon sunshine, so at least now we know. – TR

  • Rebecca September 15, 2008 (9:40 pm)

    Ahh, picking up the other passengers. Good to know.

    I will say, as a frequent viewer of both vessels in Elliott Bay for three years, I often wondered whether the skippers understood that they have the right of way while UNDER SAIL and not just all the time.

    But that’s certainly no reason for the motorboat to get anywhere near enough to hit it.

  • Jim September 15, 2008 (9:48 pm)

    Considering the sailboat was struck on the Port bow, the sailboat would have had the right of way in any event, sail or power.

  • Jim September 15, 2008 (10:08 pm)

    It looks like the impact of the crash also broke the forestay, as the jib appears tied off to something quite a ways back from the bow. And the bow pulpit is a mangled mess hanging over the Starboard side. They are lucky they didn’t loose the mast as a result. Then they would of had more injured for sure.

  • Pelicans September 16, 2008 (2:14 am)

    Since this was Monday, the noise on the street at Alki Point was deafening at times due to the slow stoppage and passage of trash trucks, recycling trucks, busses on test runs, big dump trucks, semi-truck trailer rigs, 18-wheelers and other traffic. Out of all this cacaphony, walkers on the sidewalk, neighbors and I heard a big bang that stood out from the rest of the noise. I’d been gardening on my deck, but as always watching the water. The big sail boat heading east under full sail from the vicinity of Manchester was now allowing its foresail to flutter in the breeze with a small powerboat pulled pulled up near its bow. A couple of minutes after the bang we all were able to see where it had come from. The small runabout was right up into the sailboat’s port bow. There were people up on the bow of the sailboat. The first helo on the scene was Channel 4, but it was almost 45 minutes into their 4 p.m. broadcast before they had anything to report. As usual, the West Seattle Blog had the skinny on what was going on, albeit with photos to follow. Northwest Cable News didn’t even have a thing, not even a teaser,or a mention on their crawler at the bottom of the screen, that a saw as I was flipping to and fro.
    Anyway, thanks again guys. Great thing was, no big injuries (so far reported) and nothing sank. You still scooped all the local news including AM 710 and 1000.

  • Rebecca September 16, 2008 (4:33 am)

    Made the national news at four this morning on NBC. Alcohol thought to be involved in the speedboat side, the report said.

    [Couldn’t find the story online: It’s all Brian Williams this and Brian Williams that.]

  • Matt September 16, 2008 (10:23 am)

    The passengers on the sailboat are colleagues of mine (Belltown company) who were out on day cruise to Blake Island. None were seriously hurt, although several had minor injuries. The worst injury was a hurt knee (to a West Seattle resident, no less). They said they could see the motorboat heading towards the sailboat about 2 minutes before impact, and were astonished that it never veered from its course.

  • JH September 16, 2008 (10:25 am)

    When I’m kayaking I yield to everyone also! I don’t care if I have the right-of-way to any boat. I’m not taking any chances! I did buy a bright yellow kayak to be seen, but still…

  • lacroix September 16, 2008 (11:49 am)

    It is Neptune’s Car, 70 foot SC, during the summer it is chartered and during the winter it is raced. I’m friends with the owner of the Car. It is currently out of commision for the winter racing season while it is being prepared. Bummer.

    A sailboat under sail has rights over a power boat. Since the Car is still being used for charters it would have been under sail.

  • lacroix September 16, 2008 (11:50 am)

    Repaired – not prepared. Typing and talking never work well together. Sorry!

  • popeye September 16, 2008 (6:54 pm)

    The boys at CSR where Neptune’s Car lays suspect the boat is probably totaled. Forget about the holes, the deck is delaminated from bow to mast and ring frames inside the hull are detached. The sad part is you have to imagine the owner of a cheap powerboat like that Bayliner lacks adequate insurance to pay for the damage they did.

  • Wrongshoes September 16, 2008 (10:49 pm)

    Yeah, but the owners of Neptune’s Car will have insurance. That’s why you get it. To cover your arse when the idiots in the other boat don’t have it. To not have comprehensive insurance on a boat that size would crazy.

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