UPDATE: Two men rescued from rough waters of Deception Pass

Two kayakers were relatively unscathed after capsizing in the dangerous waters of Deception Pass Thursday afternoon.

Personnel from Deception Pass State Park and the United States Coast Guard worked to pull the two stranded men from the water before their situation worsened.

The two kayakers left Bowman Bay on Fidalgo Island and were paddling around Lighthouse Point when they got caught in the current and started drifting into Deception Pass, said Jack Hartt, manager of Deception Pass State Park.

“These are hazardous waters that are cold and swift,” Hartt said.

Eventually the kayaks flipped over. One man managed to swim to the rocks on the south end of the bridge, while the other man held on to the two capsized kayaks, Hartt said. The man stranded on the rocks wasn’t able to climb out.

“He made the wise choice of waiting for a rescue,” Hartt said, adding passers-by on the bridge called 911 at around noon when they saw the kayakers.

A HH-65 Dolphin helicopter and the Cutter Adelie, both from Port Angeles, also responded, according to a news release from the United States Coast Guard. The cutter happened to be sailing near Deception Pass when the call came out.

“We happened to be right around the corner,” said Nathan Littlejohn, Petty Officer 3rd Class with Coast Guard public affairs.

The cutter’s crew lowered a 17-foot boat and rescued the man stranded on the rocks. Park staff dispatched a boat and crew. They rescued the man who was holding on to the capsized kayaks, Hartt said.

Both men, one of whom was from Camano Island and the other from the Midwest, were transported to Cornet Bay where EMS personnel checked them out.

Littlejohn said they had cuts and bruises and were checked for hypothermia. Hartt said one of the kayakers had a core temperature of 94 degrees. Once they were examined, they were taken to their vehicle located at Bowman Bay.

Hartt complimented the rescuers’ efforts.

“I was really proud of how it turned out,” Hartt said.

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