In April of 2015, a church group from Tumwater set out in seven kayaks for a day paddle on Dungeness Bay. After lunch, a predicted 35 mph wind kicked up with three-foot seas, and three of the kayakers overturned. At that time of year, water temperature averages in the high 40 degrees. While all three were eventually rescued, each had spent about two hours in the water. Two of the three died while receiving medical attention. None of them had been wearing clothing and gear suitable for cold water immersion.
This year on July 12, a 31-year-old kayaker capsized in Port Angeles Harbor near the City Pier. He was not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD). At rescue, the man was extremely hypothermic, unresponsive, and near death.
On Monday, July 13, a 31 year-old man failed to return from a paddle from Freshwater Bay to Ediz Hook. Only his kayak was found, along with an unworn PFD.
In light of recent events, KPTZ’s Mermaid Keri introduces you to a timely reprise of our Compass Kayak Safety Special produced after the Dungeness incident in 2015.