Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone

A kayaker who got stuck in rough water while paddling with a friend near Grays Harbor in Washington state and is alive and well today has nothing but the acuity and dedication of an off-duty member of the United States Coast Guard to thank.

According to a report, the USCG Sector Columbia River received a distress call from a 911 dispatcher who said two kayakers were battling 15 mph winds and eight-foot-seas and required an immediate rescue.

While one of the kayakers successfully reached safe shore by themselves, a Station Grays Harbor 47-foot Motor Life Boat took off from its dock, en route to the boaters in peril.

But, before the craft could reach the scene, an off-duty Guardsman got to the solo kayaker, picked them out of the chop, and saved their life.

“This case illustrates the professionalism of our Coast Guard members,” said Chief Petty Officer Justin Urbano — command duty officer at Sector Columbia River.

“Even while off duty, our Coast Guardsmen and women are ready to respond to any signs of trouble.”