UPDATE: Paddleboarder rescues woman at Alki

6:05 PM: SFD is sending a water-rescue response to Alki/Marine. Possibly 2 people in trouble in the water. Updates to come.

6:11 PM: Sounds like everyone is OK & response is being downsized. We just arrived at Alki to check.

(Added: Photo by David Hutchinson)

6:16 PM: SFD tells us at the scene that paddleboarders brought in a person who is being checked out by medics.

(WSB photo)

6:57 PM: SFD says the woman who was rescued is being taken to the hospital. (See comments below for added details on the rescue.)

23 Replies to "UPDATE: Paddleboarder rescues woman at Alki"

  • Tyler August 20, 2021 (6:16 pm)

    I was at West Seattle Brewery when a man ran by asking if anyone had a SUP before running down the beach asking the same of others. A few minutes later he ran back carrying child’s inner tube to attempt a rescue. Fortunately someone was able to provide a SUP and paddled out to make the rescue. Someone was in the water out near the dropoff at the end of the sand bar. SFD response arrived a few minutes later.

  • Chupatopbra August 20, 2021 (6:19 pm)

    We watched this unfold from upstairs at chupacabra. Paddle board folks brought a woman in to paramedics on the shore. She was walking with assistance so things seem to be ok. The salsa was good too. 

  • Ryan caple August 20, 2021 (6:25 pm)

    Eating at Christos’s with my wife and saw the whole thing. Mad props to the paddle boarder who saved that woman’s life! Seriously, he just saved her life! Hero on Alki! 

  • Ryan D August 20, 2021 (6:53 pm)

    A bystander on the beach ran through bars asking for a paddle board then stormed out like a boss to go save the dude. Beat out the firemen (who showed up in less than 5 minutes) and the coast guard who sent a harbor boat over. Dude might have saved that person’s life.

  • WSB August 20, 2021 (7:15 pm)

    Thanks for the added details!

  • ~Hockeywitch~ August 20, 2021 (7:21 pm)

    Way to go Alki Bystander/Hero. In the right place at the right time… Thank you first responders for getting to this lady so fast to get her to the hospital for medical treatment.  Hope she will be okay. How scary.

  • Natalie's bystander August 20, 2021 (8:03 pm)

    One thing I can add to the accounts is that I spoke with the paddleboarder after the rescue.  He lives in an apartment across the street from Alki and heard the calls for anyone with a paddleboard from inside his apartment.  He ran downstairs and grabbed his board.  From Natalie’s we saw him sprint across the street, down the sand, then paddle quickly straight out to her.  We were all on edge watching as she seemed to disappear under for longer and longer.  I really thought it wasn’t going to end well.  Another tidbit:. The hero has only been paddleboarding for 1-2 months!

  • Auntie August 20, 2021 (8:10 pm)

    How did the drowning victim end up in the water? Was she a paddle boarder or a swimmer?

    • WSB August 20, 2021 (8:11 pm)

      Firefighters were not sure when we talked to them onshore.

  • Alki resident August 20, 2021 (9:38 pm)

    I’d like to gift a paddle board to the guy who saved her life. If WS Blog could please find out who he is a message me. 

    • CJ August 22, 2021 (11:27 pm)

      That is so kind of you!  I hope you were able ro connect!  In today’s world, we just need to pay it forward and that man did by saving a life and you are by recognizing him with a gift for his actions.  Happy ending to what could have been a tragic story. 

    • Aki Friend September 2, 2021 (12:03 pm)

      This amazing man works at Qumulo!!! 

  • Beach eye witness August 20, 2021 (9:43 pm)

    To fill in a few key missing details. We saw the woman enter the water. She had been pacing up and down the beach / waters edge for a while…swaying, not balanced, and talking very loudly to her self, possible substance abuse issues and or mental health crisis. She suddenly dropped her belongings kicked off her shoes and walked into the water clothes and all. She started swimming fairly aggressively and just kept swimming. She did not attempt to return to shore, just kept swimming further out. At that point multiple parties near us had also noticed, we alerted the parks debt. that was close by and called 911. So glad she was ok thanks to the paddle boarders and the first responders.  

  • bloo August 20, 2021 (10:00 pm)

    Thank you to all the heroes who saved this person’s life!  I hope she is okay and recovers well.

  • Milhouse August 20, 2021 (10:13 pm)

    Today’s hero is a close friend. My wife and I took him to dinner tonight as thanks for his good deed.

  • Eagle eye August 20, 2021 (11:45 pm)

    Some dude ran back to his house blocks away and was the second responder on a SUP.  Dude is badass…. 

  • wssz August 21, 2021 (6:09 am)

    It’s really incredible to read the sequence of all that came together for the woman. Paddleboarder — thank goodness for your immediate instinct to jump in to save her. You did everything right and are truly a superstar hero. Talk about being in the right place at the right time… Luck. A lot of us wouldn’t be here without it. I hope the woman is completely fine and that she and you (paddleboarder) can meet under far better circumstances. 

  • bloo August 21, 2021 (6:39 am)

    So many heroes!  Thank you to all people who called 911, for the individual originally looking for SUP to help, the person who actually went out, and anyone else who was racing around to save this person.  Beach Eye Witness, thank you for the details.  I was afraid this was a suicide attempt, but regardless of why this happened, a life was saved and I genuinely hope the second chance given to this woman is everything she needs.  Thank you angels on Alki!

  • valvashon August 21, 2021 (9:28 am)

    SUP?  Feel free to spell phrases out, especially when it refers to something obscure to those who don’t paddle board.  SFD is pretty easy to figure out if you live in Seattle (Seattle Fire Department) but I still don’t know what a SUP is.Oh, and good job anonymous paddle boarder.  It may not have been easy to rescue somebody who, according to Beach Eye Witness may not have wanted to be rescued.

    • Trygoogle August 21, 2021 (11:04 am)

      Stand Up PaddleboardWay to go SUP hero’s!!

    • Volleyball player August 21, 2021 (12:31 pm)

      She wanted to be rescued. I don’t know how she ended up so far away from the shore but eventually she started screaming for help. Very loud and clear (I was there playing volleyball and I heard her) probably realizing that this was her only chance to survive. At first we thought it’s just seagulls, but it turned out to be “HELP”. That’s when people started running around looking for paddle boards and kayaks. There were actually a few kayaks right next to Blue Moon burgers, but they were all locked up and we couldn’t figure out how to unlock them fast. Also, two persons started swimming towards her even before paddle boarders, but she was just way too far away and they turned around when they saw them. SFD and SPD showed up in a few minutes (including one SFD boat), but by that time paddle boarder was already on his way back. Everything happened very fast. Also, worth mentioning that there were three paddle boarders who went to save her, but this guy was the fastest (even though he was the last one to join the group afair). And one guy who tried to get there on a log. I was impressed to see so many people ready to risk their own lives for that person. And that’s when Alki beach was mostly empty.

  • momosmom August 21, 2021 (11:44 am)

    SUP= Stand Up Paddleboard and I understand completely… I sometimes have to google to see what they’re talking about! 

  • Alki resident August 22, 2021 (11:58 am)

    All those that helped rescue and call 911, thank you for assisting in the rescue.
    If you do not fit 1 or more of the following items, you will put yourself at risk when saving a drowning victim in the Puget Sound:
    Lifeguard training for cold open oceans
    Experience in 56F waters [long exposure to <70F water for a person with no gear or no training can be deadly]
    A proper flotation device
    Those two people that swam out to help, endangered their lives. Your safety should always be the top priority. Stay safe everyone!

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