Update: Man dies after intensive rescue effort off Lincoln Park

(1st two photos by Patrick Sand for WSB)
ORIGINAL 9:52 PM REPORT: Rescue crews are converging on the Fauntleroy ferry dock after what was reported, according to scanner traffic, as a possible person in the water, reported to have fallen out of a dinghy. Our crew’s on the way; updates when we find out more.

10 PM UPDATE: The location where the person is believed to be in the water is actually off the south Lincoln Park beach, so that’s where rescuers are converging now.

They are still on the ferry dock too – with a fire-truck ladder extended (thanks to Maggie for pointing out it’s visible on the webcam):

10:10 PM UPDATE: Rescuers are headquartered by the first picnic shelter on the south stretch of Lincoln Park beach, where divers have been suiting up. Our crews on the scene say the Coast Guard has done a flyover and divers are about to go in.

(Photos from hereon out by Christopher Boffoli for WSB, except dinghy photo)
10:16 PM UPDATE: The ferry that was coming in has stopped a few hundred yards offshore.

(added) According to Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams at the scene, here’s what they believe happened: Two men in two small vessels were going back out to a sailboat anchored offshore. One apparently fell out. He’s believed to be in his mid-20s.

10:35 PM UPDATE: Divers are still in the water – but no rescue yet. No word of an active sighting, either. Adding a photo showing the light from the SFD ladder in the background (substituted later, actual ladder photo).

10:46 PM UPDATE: Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore is on scene. He says there were actually three men taking supplies out to the sailboat, when it was discovered one was missing. (added – photo of one of the dinghies/rafts)

Divers are still searching but if they are not able to find the missing person soon, Moore says the operation will officially change to “recovery” mode.

10:49 PM UPDATE: Our crews at the beach say the victim is reported to have been found and is receiving CPR, has been taken to med unit. Moore says he’s been told the man is still alive and getting “cold water resuscitation.” He is reported to have been not very far offshore – 20 feet maybe.

10:56 PM UPDATE: Back here at HQ, we’re hearing scanner traffic about rescued man – believed to have been in the water an hour. CPR and “slow rewarming” under way as they prepare to rush him to Harborview Medical Center.

11:16 PM UPDATE: SFD’s Moore says the man was found about 25 yards offshore. Don’t know when we’ll find out if resuscitation efforts were successful, but of course we will update the story whenever there is info.

You may recall, this is the second time in five weeks that rescue divers have handled a call off West Seattle shores – last month, diver Tareq Saade died off Seacrest; his body was recovered about eight hours later.

ADDED 11:46 PM: Here is WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli‘s video of Moore’s media briefing right after the man was rescued:

6:38 AM UPDATE: Multiple citywide news orgs are reporting that the man didn’t make it. We don’t have independent confirmation so far, but the odds did seem very much against the possibility of surviving that much time underwater.

8:08 AM UPDATE: We also have spoken with Harborview Medical Center, where a spokesperson confirms the man died.

60 Replies to "Update: Man dies after intensive rescue effort off Lincoln Park"

  • hollyplace March 26, 2012 (10:02 pm)

    I can’t believe how many sirens have been going by. I hope things turn out okay.

  • Vicki March 26, 2012 (10:04 pm)

    10pm–have heard at least 6 sirens zoom down Fauntleroy in the last 4 mins. Must be this search…

  • mookie March 26, 2012 (10:05 pm)

    I hope they find the person. And that the person was wearing a life jacket…
    Just saw a helicopter approach the area, coming across the water from the west, low going to south end of Lincoln Park.

  • DF March 26, 2012 (10:09 pm)

    Heard all the sirens and saw the ambulance leaving the fire station on S.W. Alaska St. . Hope everyone is ok and they recover the person alive.

  • Dave March 26, 2012 (10:19 pm)

    Ferry has detoured and is shining spotlight for rescuers in Cove.

  • BB March 26, 2012 (10:22 pm)

    Huge response..we can see the ferry using its spotlight.

  • WS guy March 26, 2012 (10:28 pm)

    I just got home and was wondering why a helicopter was flying low over yonder. Thanks wsb.

  • April March 26, 2012 (10:33 pm)

    We are thankful for all our emergency response teams coming together to help this man. Please stay safe!

  • Jana March 26, 2012 (10:33 pm)

    Yeah a police speed boat and what must have been the coast guard sped over there. About 10 min. ago.

  • truly March 26, 2012 (10:39 pm)

    I heard the enormous amount of sirens too. That’s amazing to know all those first responders go all out to save a life – police, fire, aide. Thank you. I hope his life was saved tonight.

    • WSB March 26, 2012 (10:42 pm)

      Still no rescue. But it’s a massive effort – chopper, fire & police divers & boats … We still have two crews at the scene & I am monitoring scanner and writing updates back here …

  • Jana March 26, 2012 (10:47 pm)

    Praying for him to be rescued from the cold waters!!!

  • so sorry March 26, 2012 (10:49 pm)

    That’s so sad re: the update on ‘recovery mode’. Sorry to hear it. I guess when divers are there at night that pretty much says it all.

  • Silver in Ballard March 26, 2012 (10:58 pm)

    I just heard Medic 32 talking to the doctor at Harborview. They are transporting a male to Harborview who was in the water for aprox. an hour. They are performing CPR and slowly warming his body.

  • Silver in Ballard March 26, 2012 (11:01 pm)

    Apparently the victim was in an inflated raft that deflated.

  • Mike March 26, 2012 (11:01 pm)

    hoping for the best since they’ve located him.

  • dsa March 26, 2012 (11:04 pm)

    Impressive teamwork!

  • JanS March 26, 2012 (11:05 pm)

    wow..still alive. Let’s hope the slow warming works, and that he’ll be OK. That water is so cold…

  • ellenater March 26, 2012 (11:08 pm)

    I really hope this person is okay!

  • Nate March 26, 2012 (11:22 pm)

    How in the heck was this guy lost for an hour only 20 feet from shore?! A whole hour to find the guy? Makes no sense.

    • WSB March 26, 2012 (11:40 pm)

      Nate, an update – remember the info is fast-moving at the scene – in the briefing, we subsequently were told he was found *in* 20 feet of water, 25 yards offshore.

  • Jana March 26, 2012 (11:23 pm)

    So glad to hear he was rescued, praying for a quick recovery. Thank you to all of the Emergency Response Teams, good job. We all are blessed by your service.

  • Darcy Eakins March 26, 2012 (11:36 pm)

    Im on 37th and Andover and could still hear all the sirens. I finally turned on my police scanner app on my iPhone and heard the whole thing go down once police, medic and the coast guard arrived. I hope they can revive him. So awful :(

  • E March 26, 2012 (11:45 pm)

    Gawd!….negative Nate!! It’s not like they aren’t trying to do all they can do!

  • Jude March 26, 2012 (11:53 pm)

    I heard his screams for help.
    I was sitting in my truck waiting for the ferry and heard the most terrible screams. chilling. His screams stopped and then I heard his friends screaming his name. I called 911.
    I’m so incredibly relieved they found him!!!
    wow. please keep us posted on his condition.
    Thank you for being so on top of this! Such a huge relief.

  • Lamont March 27, 2012 (12:14 am)

    If divers had to find the guy in 20 feet of water it means they had to get the call, had to arrive at the scene and suit up — with enough checks to ensure they weren’t going to put themselves at risk, then perform a search and find him… All that takes time.

    Hoping that he pulls through it for him and for everyone involved…

    • WSB March 27, 2012 (12:30 am)

      Listening to the video our crews got of Kyle Moore’s second briefing, different depth .. but whatever the case, he was underwater. Listening to the scanner for an operation like this was really something … they were discussing depths, tides, “grids” that were being searched, very complex. We’re swapping out some of our photos since the originals were via cameraphone … you can see how many crews and vehicles were there.

  • Darcy March 27, 2012 (12:40 am)

    From the live feed on the scanner, it sounded as if they were suited up and ready to go with the Coast Guard searching via helicopter. As WSB said, they were waiting on tide schedule info etc. it sounded like they all responded very quickly to the original calls coming into 911..

  • mookie March 27, 2012 (1:28 am)

    From the scanner traffic, it sounded like the rescuers were also working on what witnesses had (apparently) told them was the last area the person had been seen; everything from 100 yards off shore to 50 yards south of the end of the dock, etc., in the initial 15-20 minutes SFD, SPD et al arrived.

  • redfoxx March 27, 2012 (5:52 am)

    I just heard on the news he didn’t make it :(

  • WSMom March 27, 2012 (6:23 am)

    Unfortunately, I just heard on KOMO radio, AM 1000, that this young man passed away. Such a tragedy! My prayers are with his friends and family! RIP.

  • Knm March 27, 2012 (6:33 am)

    Very sad. King5 just announced the young man passed away overnight. My thoughts are with his family and friends.

    • WSB March 27, 2012 (6:38 am)

      I don’t have that independently confirmed but an hour in the water is a long time so there’s no reason to doubt it … TR

  • Carl Kamenzind March 27, 2012 (7:57 am)

    I feel worst from this news than most should. I own the small 1929 era cutter that has been anchored since July. “Dragonon” began to anchor just a week ago and, no doubt, my decision to anchor at The Cove, had influence on this skipper’s decision.
    I had heard of the day the skipper came to the Cove from John there. He described the event as almost comical, like a Farley Mowat book. The wind was blowing hard to shore and it appeared the skipper had to continually blow air into the inflatable boat to keep it afloat. Finally, he drifted to shore, I was told, wet and exhausted. I felt for this person, knowing the intense drive to sail and how the skipper of modest means, will take chances to know the joys of traveling in their small boat.

    Yesterday evening was very calm. I rowed out at about five, drank beer and enjoyed a glorious sky before napping until about nine that evening. Dragonon is anchored close by and I hoped my lingering on board, whould buy time, so that the skipper of Dragonon might visit his boat. Had I only waited just a bit longer and I may have had some influence on the outcome last night.

    This story has me shaken and very saddened. I push lady luck around and I too, could be just as unlucky. This is just so sad.

  • Alex March 27, 2012 (8:27 am)

    A sad story… Not to be indelicate, but what exactly happened? I don’t think of the waters off Lincoln Park as particularly treacherous (no currents, sharks, etc.), so I can’t help but wonder what could cause someone to drown there… Especially when there were people with him at the time.
    Accidentally hit his head before he fell in?
    Didn’t know how to swim?
    Couldn’t see the shore (didn’t know which direction to swim) in the dark?

  • Jtk March 27, 2012 (9:17 am)

    If the water is a balmy 50/55 Deg as it is in the Puget Sound, a person has about 3-5 minutes or less before the limbs will no longer tread water (even in the best of body condition)… in the dark, it is very likely that this person was not found in time and could no longer tread water, went under and could not be seen. Even in shallow water. :(

  • AJP March 27, 2012 (9:26 am)

    Incredibly sad, and another reminder to please wear a life jacket at all times! Even if you think you are a great swimmer, it’s not that far, whatever, wear a life jacket!

  • Silver in Ballard March 27, 2012 (9:30 am)

    It is sad that the victim didn’t make it. Jude, my thoughts are with you. It would be hard to hear calls for help and not be able to do anything about it other than call 911. You did the right thing.

    Remember, everyone, that when you hear that CPR is in progress, chances are very slim that the recipient will revive. CPR is only performed on dead people. TV shows make it look like it works more often than it actually does. An hour in Puget Sound without protective gear is very bad news.

  • MyEye March 27, 2012 (9:36 am)

    The water is 45 degrees right now. If you aren’t wearing a life jacket and wetsuit your body may not give you the option to swim before it just shuts down.

  • JoAnne March 27, 2012 (9:48 am)

    Condolences to the family who lost this young man.
    For Alex and others:.
    In cold water, even an Olympic swimmer can die in under 10 minutes. In the first 1-3 minutes, muscles start to shiver. By 6-10 minutes, they can become rigid to the point where a person can barely move. You cannot swim or even pull yourself into a boat, even if wearing a life jacket.
    People often gasp for breath involuntarily and inhale water, or the shock of sudden hypothermia can cause heart attack–this has happened in people as young as 15 years old.
    Many things people do on the water in California or Hawaii are NOT safe here.
    You can’t see this by looking, but divers in Puget Sound wear wetsuits at least twice as thick/heavy as those used in warmer water.
    I don’t know anything about how this accident happened, but I am so sorry. We lost a loved one to drowning years ago. Every spring it makes me terribly sad to this happening again and again to children and young adults.
    Please have a healthy fear and respect of cold water.

  • Brad Vckrs March 27, 2012 (10:18 am)

    1) thank you for the good and timely reporting
    2) sorry to all those that have suffered from this loss. respect and love the water.
    3) to those of us still able to play/work/enjoy the water – stay as safe as you can

  • JG March 27, 2012 (10:59 am)

    CPR is not performed on dead people, it’s performed on people whose hearts have stopped; theres a difference. Their brains are likely still functioning and struggling for oxygen and blood. As far as giving CPR is concerned it shouldn’t be stopped until the person is declared dead by a medical professional.

    I say this as someone who watched his wife recover after receiving CPR and defibrilation for 29 minutes.

  • M. March 27, 2012 (12:05 pm)

    So sad. I woke up today hoping this would turn out ok. Sorry to all the friends and family.

  • Steph in WS March 27, 2012 (1:11 pm)

    JG is right. Actually, Seattle has the highest resuscitation successes in the country. There have been lots of people pulled from cold water who have been out there for a good amount of time being resuscitated. Sometimes colder the better. Big take home message: don’t stop CPR.

  • Jude March 27, 2012 (4:40 pm)

    So so sad he didn’t make it….

  • Too sad March 27, 2012 (4:49 pm)

    I did the same thing ‘M,’ when I got up this morning the first thing I did was look on the blog and was so happy he lived but later found out he didn’t make it. It is a heart breaking accident that occurred so close to home. My heart goes out to his family and friends……

  • MB March 27, 2012 (7:34 pm)

    Prayers to the family! SO heartbreaking to say the least. I was looking forward to reading this blog and hearing he survived. Prayers prayers prayers!!!! RIP

  • Snow Wimp March 27, 2012 (8:08 pm)

    Oh, that hurts.

  • Sv March 27, 2012 (8:53 pm)

    In British Columbia, every vessel notifies you of the 1-10-1 rule. If you are caught in cold water, you should know the first three phases of cold water immersion:

    One minute to get your breathing under control.
    Ten minutes of meaningful movement.
    One hour you’ll have hypothermia.

  • R March 27, 2012 (11:32 pm)

    To amplify other comments about cold water, we have water that isn’t quite cold enough to aid survival if a near drowning incident occurs but cold enough to be hazardous. Take a look at http://www.coldwaterbootcamp.com/, you have quite a bit of time to survive in Puget Sound if you survive the first few moments in the water.

    Always wearing a life jacket is a pretty good strategy for surviving the first few moments. Having appropriate signaling equipment ( ranging from simple like a whistle/flashlight to more expensive i.e. strobe/flares/radio/PLB)to is probably an appropriate strategy get help if you can’t self rescue.

    Finally I’m pretty sure that using a pool toy as a dinghy isn’t likely to be a successful strategy for survival. Might be a reasonable compromise in more benign conditions but hardly a good idea in the winter on Puget Sound.

  • Tammi March 28, 2012 (5:48 am)

    I’ve not been able to get this off my mind for the past 36 hours. Its just so sad and unfortunate this happened and I’m sure his friends who were there with him are just devastated. I too hoped when I woke up yesterday that the news would be good – and it was briefly.

    Thoughts to his friends and family.

  • Charlie March 29, 2012 (12:15 am)

    Carl Kamenzind likely has some good info on who this person was that died. I think I know who it is but am left guessing without a little more info as there has been no name listed yet. Did you notice if he had one arm missing with a prosthetic in place of it? Did he appear to be probably of Asian/Pacific Islander descent with black somewhat long hair and tan complexion with some facial hair? If so, I think I recognize who this is as he’s been moving this boat about to various places on Vashon Island looking for a home where he could anchor long term. His last name is similar to the name of this boat. I think I saw him on the ferry heading over to Fauntleroy from Vashon that morning which is rather eerie now until I hear confirmation for whether it was him. Hope to hear more.

  • MB March 29, 2012 (12:26 am)

    Any word on a name release yet? Still so saddened by this news!

    • WSB March 29, 2012 (1:04 am)

      The Medical Examiner seems to be running a day late on their “media release” lists – there was no Tuesday list on the hotline on Tuesday; I called just now and NOW it’s listing Tuesday, though usually they would have a same-day list by 3 pm. Not likely a person with major local ties, I guess, as we haven’t even heard a hint here, and usually within a day or so of a tragic accidental or criminal death, we would have, somehow … TR

  • m March 30, 2012 (4:23 pm)

    Any news? Who was the man? What happened?

    • WSB March 30, 2012 (4:39 pm)

      It appears, crosschecking King County records, he was 25-year-old Brandon Stoberman, from Oklahoma. Don’t know anything else; have not heard from friends or relatives, which is unusual. Authorities indicated to us there is no investigation, so beyond what we reported that night, there’s nothing else to say, at this point. – TR

  • jessica April 3, 2012 (5:30 pm)

    Brandon Stoberman Was My Big Cousin And he Was A Good Man And No He Wasnt Drunk HE Had A Panic Attack And Thank You for All The Support And To Those Who bad Mouthed Him You Should Feel Ashamed of Your Self

  • Carl April 8, 2012 (8:17 pm)

    This was the scene at 7:50 p.m. (19:50-hrs) that evening.


    This video was taken with a pocket camera from aboard “Minuet”, the small blue wooden cutter (sailboat). Note how calm the water was that evening. The WSF Issaquah is at the Fauntleroy ferry dock at this time.
    I wanted to stay the night on board as it was so gentle that night, but a lack of dinner persuaded me to ride up the hill to home. Wow, were things about to change fast. I find it odd that I enjoyed a candle’s light as though a pre-vidual were happening.

    While paddling back to Cove Park (at the ferry dock), the two geese sisters swam from the beach to meet me at about ten meters from shore at 8:41 p.m.. It’s a good thing I had some hole grain bread handy. This was the calm before the Cove was lit up with the noble, but futile efforts to rescue the drowned man.

Sorry, comment time is over.