UPDATE: 2 water-rescue responses off Beach Drive

1:36 PM: Seattle Fire is sending a water-rescue response to Beach Drive/Genesee. Dispatch says the report is of a paddleboarder 20 yards off shore, bleeding, yelling for help. Updates to come.

1:39 PM: They’ve revised the location to SW Carroll, which is Weather Watch Park (across from La Rustica).

1:40 PM: The person is now reported to be out of the water, and the response is being downsized to a low-level medical response.

2:38 PM: And now another water-rescue response dispatched, this time to the 5200 block of Beach Drive for a possible kite-surfer in distress.

2:45 PM: So far nobody in trouble – responders report seeing a kite-surfer “stand back up” on their board.

ADDED MONDAY NIGHT: Even after SFD closed their response, the Coast Guard stayed in the area a while. Danny McMillin sent the photo above showing what kind of seas they faced.

13 Replies to "UPDATE: 2 water-rescue responses off Beach Drive"

  • WS resident October 25, 2021 (1:44 pm)

    Who in their right mind goes out paddleboarding with gale winds? On the other hand, one guy went out at dusk a month ago, paddled out toward the island, the night came and I left the park before the guy returned and it was dark out. Who knows…

    • WSB October 25, 2021 (1:49 pm)

      Paddleboarding is how dispatch described it, based on whatever they learned from whomever called it in, but I suppose it could have been a kiteboarder, or windsurfer as the term used to be, as they definitely take advantage of blustery weather. We’ve had explanations in the past from kiteboarders/windsurfers in comment threads, will link if I can find one.

      • WS resident October 25, 2021 (1:53 pm)

        That makes sense – I’m sure its fun kiteboarding with these winds. Just a bit chilly with the water temps in the 50s!

      • Chiquita October 25, 2021 (2:42 pm)

        For what it’s worth – kiteboarding and windsurfing are quite different. Kiteboarding involves a large kite that is attached to the rider via a harness, and the board is strapped to the rider’s feet. Windsurfing has a sail that is attached to a larger board, and the rider stands on the board holding onto the sail. Both are super fun in high wind situations – when you know what you are doing. 

    • Jay October 25, 2021 (2:34 pm)

      Everything you do after work in winter is in the dark. I’ve paddleboarded in the dark many times. It can be fun to paddleboard or kayak into the big waves as well.

  • Susan October 25, 2021 (2:03 pm)

    He’s out and is safe and walking around talking to the fire dept folks. I’m right across the street and watched it unfold once I heard the sirens. Very scary. It got really real when the scuba divers showed up. I’m pretty sure he was kite boarding because I saw someone pull in a sail. Happy that it he is safe. Excellent response from SFD.

  • Craig October 25, 2021 (2:50 pm)

    I’ve been watching the water all day from my window to the water off Beach Drive near Me Kwa, and have seen a few floating trees, over 15 feet long, quickly bobbing up and down (3′ up and down) in the surf.  I hope folks that use the wind and waves don’t hit those subsurface 1000 pound trees at speed. Must be scary to be injured in this water. I hope they’re ok and get back to enjoying their sport soon. 

    • Resident of WS October 27, 2021 (1:25 pm)

      It would be tough to explain how you hit a tree while kite surfing in the ocean. :)

      • alki_2008 October 27, 2021 (9:34 pm)

        Except Puget Sound is not an “ocean” – far from it.

        • WSB October 27, 2021 (10:10 pm)

          Most definitions of Puget Sound describe it as an inlet of the Pacific Ocean.

  • heyalki October 25, 2021 (2:56 pm)

    Any pics of the waves today? I’d love to see them

  • Jim October 25, 2021 (3:17 pm)

    I can’t believe anybody would go out today

    • Jeff October 29, 2021 (11:40 am)

      Hey Jim,  I’m an experienced windsurfer/wingfoiler.  The wind that day was equivalent to an average to windy day in Hood River or Maui where people go from all over the world to enjoy these sports.  So while it may look crazy to you, for most of the guys getting out there it was a perfect day to do what we love.  I was out on the water and had a great time.  Our wetsuits keep us warm and our gear provides ample flotation for self rescue.  Pat the rescuee is new to the sport and learned a lot.  He came in on his own and was assisted by responders who grabbed and secured some of his gear.  Trying to land at Mee Kwa Mooks at high tide was not advisable but otherwise he acquitted himself admirably, and has already been back out to learn more without incident.

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