UPDATE: SFD rescue response @ Lincoln Park

11:56 AM: Seattle Fire responders are headed by land and sea to the north shore of Lincoln Park, where multiple 911 callers have reported that a kayaker has fallen in the water.

11:59 AM: Per radio exchange, the kayaker has made it to shore, and some units are being dismissed from the call.

12:03 PM: The call is closed. One illuminating aspect: This is the type of emergency call that brings units from across the bay. General traffic on the low bridge (where the live camera shows a steady stream of cars continuing) could have impeded the response.

26 Replies to "UPDATE: SFD rescue response @ Lincoln Park"

  • Mike April 4, 2020 (12:00 pm)

    Just one kayaker?  There’s 16 units dispatched. 

    • WSB April 4, 2020 (12:09 pm)

      There were briefly. As discussed here many, many times, it’s dispatch first, then pull back if needed. Every unit has a potentially different role in possibly saving a life.

  • 11epees April 4, 2020 (12:06 pm)


  • West Seattle Coug April 4, 2020 (2:03 pm)

    The Ferries also sent the Sealth to assist. I was watching it from Southworth and heard it on the staff’s radios. 

  • Jort April 4, 2020 (2:25 pm)

    It’s very frustrating to see the, “It’s OK if I do it” crowd clogging the low bridge and delaying emergency responders! It’s long past time to rely on voluntary compliance! Line ’em up and write ’em tickets!

    • Bradley April 4, 2020 (4:18 pm)

      Kayaking is not a crime, so…

      • Fredrik April 4, 2020 (6:40 pm)

        They’re referring to the drivers ignoring the rule of low bridge being for first responders and transit only.

      • Andrea April 4, 2020 (7:48 pm)

        I didn’t know we were allowed to kayak during the stay at home order. Precisely for this reason. So first responders are not stretched even more while caring for Covid19 victims. I know we’re not allowed to fish, which is also a water activity for the same reason

        • Bradley April 5, 2020 (3:53 am)

          There is no “stay at home order”. It’s a non-essential business closure and a ban on gatherings in public. Solitary kayakers are no more of a drain on first responders than you going for a walk around the block with 5000-pound SUVs, big dogs, uneven pavement, etc.

        • JonnyQuest April 5, 2020 (11:14 am)

          Not saying we should or should not be out kayaking.  But if you’re going to reprimand the kayaker, are you going to reprimand the bike rider in the below comment?  While I could be wrong, I’m pretty sure stats show that bike riders require help from first responders, and especially hospitals, far more than kayakers.    

  • Tsurly April 4, 2020 (3:28 pm)

    I watched (while heading east toward the bridge on a bike ride) the two SFD heavy rescue units take about a minute to get through the Chelan intersection because the lanes accessing the low bridge where clogged with cars.

  • NoLongerPNWPatsFan April 4, 2020 (3:36 pm)

    I think there is no other choice than to monitor and enforce traffic laws over the low bridge.  Embarrassingly, yesterday I took the low bridge after misinterpreting a Waze instruction and no one was there to stop me.  Our collective safety is at stake, and it doesn’t appear that there’s any proactive monitoring or adjustment of traffic flows (the 5-10 light cycles to get from W Marginal to Spokane is quite irritating).

    • Nicole April 4, 2020 (8:08 pm)

      Agreed. Signage must improve.  Driving from admiral to the Eastside regularly to care for my elderly dad. It adds a solid 15 m each way to my drive around but my conscious is clear that I won’t be impeding emergency responses.   They also must improve the traffic lights coming from west marginal as this is the real sticking point for those of using the work around. 

  • Intelligent human April 4, 2020 (5:16 pm)

    OMFG people, stop wasting our limited emergency resources with your ignorant decision making. Our emergency response system is already stretched so thin between this pandemic and escalating crime, not to mention a ton of emergency response workers are contracting the virus because they’re helping idiots get their stolen phones and apparently fishing humans out of Puget sound.  If you can’t figure out a way to have your relaxing down time at home or in your freaking yard/back porch maybe Darwin’s theory needs to play out. 

    • Yma April 4, 2020 (5:55 pm)

      People DO need to get out. Keep distance- absolutely. Be careful- absolutely. But geez. This person went out on the water- got into some trouble, needed help. The response is the usual response. Let’s be thankful that neighbor is ok.Ok. The point here is that folks who should not be taking the lower bridge- are taking the lower bridge.Be kind, neighbors. We got more weeks of this. And then we have more weeks/months of traffic suckiness.

  • Yma April 4, 2020 (6:00 pm)

    Hrm – Emergency response is not taxed- hospitals ARE. I’d like to see data on escalating crime, the reports I’ve read to date show a reduction – but I’d gladly read more info on that.

  • Atarimae April 4, 2020 (6:02 pm)

    I was at the scene when the kayaker, about 75-100 feet offshore, had just capsized and was struggling and failing to reboard. Fortunately he started to push the kayak in front of him, kicking his way to shore. As he approached, a brave young man took off his shirt and waded out to help pull him in. The kayaker, clearly a rank novice, was not wearing a wet suit, nor did he have on a life jacket. What was he thinking? He was incredibly fortunate to have so many people helping to guide him to safety. Hopefully a lesson learned. It could have ended tragically.

    • John April 4, 2020 (8:45 pm)

      A wetsuit isn’t exactly required but a life jacket most definitely. I’m a Paul how often I see people out on the water around here who don’t have life jackets on.

      • A Kayaker April 4, 2020 (9:37 pm)

        Personally, especially this time of year I would consider a dry suit mandatory with thermal layers worn underneath.  A thick wetsuit would be okay but not ideal.  For many only 45 min I this water would mean death.  Even in the summer I wear a dry suit to kayak.

  • Ali April 4, 2020 (7:09 pm)

    I feel like it would be easy to give people allowed to use it a sticker or a good to go pass for the lower bridge. If you don’t have one then you get a ticket. 

  • A Kayaker April 4, 2020 (10:01 pm)

    Anyone kayaking in the Puget Sound should be wearing a dry suit, a personal floatation device and a spray skirt along with demonstrating basic kayaking skills such as bracing and self rescue at the very least with a paddle float. This time of year you should wear extra layers under the drysuit.  Flares and a VHF radio are also essential.  Solo paddlers should be able to roll their kayak in choppy conditions with confidence and power.  Obviously the temptation to the novice is real and there will be incidents.  However there are many responsible kayakers and organizations that strive to spread this message.  The washingtonkayakclub.org is a great resource for the novice paddler.  As well The Mountaineers and local retailers such as Mountain to Sound Outfitters (Alki Kayak Tours) and Kayak Academy.  If you are interested in kayaking please take a kayaking 101 course from one of these great establishments.

    • Tsurly April 6, 2020 (7:25 am)

      As a seasoned kayaker myself (whitewater and ocean) I’d also add the ability to hand roll a kayak as an essential skill for solo paddlers. 

  • Alice April 5, 2020 (3:00 pm)

    … I thought the low bridge was reserved for transit, freight, & emergency vehicles … regular people are still driving on it?Why would you do that, except once by mistake?

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