(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.