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More details emerge about civilians involved in rescue after kayak overturned in Birch Bay

Scene of 2 kayakers being rescued by 2 other kayakers (December 10, 2022). Photo courtesy of Lisa Covey

BIRCH BAY, Wash. — First responders were dispatched to the area of the boat launch near Birch Bay State Park about 2:50pm on Saturday, December 10th, due to a report of a juvenile and an adult who had been in the water after their kayak had overturned.

Approximate location of boat launch

Whatcom County Fire District Assistant Fire Chief Ben Boyko told Whatcom News they arrived to find both patients being warmed inside 2 cars near the boat launch.

Boyko said they were told the 2 had been in the water for 30 to 40 minutes before being rescued by 2 good Samaritans who launched in their kayak while bringing an empty kayak to carry the 2 out of the water back to shore.

According to a witness at the scene, a lot of people assisted in the care of the 2 patients prior to the arrival of EMS personnel. “A man on the beach alerted us to the situation, a woman went home and brought blankets, couple had a space blanket in their car, and we put [the adult] in their car to get warm. My friend had the boy warming in her car while she calmed him.”

It was believed the 2 men who went out to make the rescue and bring the kayakers back to shore are neighbors. They told people at the scene that this was not the first time they’ve had to rescue people in the water in this area.

2 unnamed kayakers who rescued 2 other kayakers from the waters of Birch Bay (December 10, 2022). Photo courtesy of Lisa Covey
2 unnamed kayakers who rescued 2 other kayakers from the waters of Birch Bay (December 10, 2022). Photo courtesy of Lisa Covey

The adult and juvenile were transported by ambulance to PeaceHealth St Joseph’s Medical Center under basic life support (BLS) protocol.

Another person on shore told Whatcom News he believed the 2 had gone out crabbing in a small boat and tipped. He added they did not have on life jackets.

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