The crew of the Washington State Ferry MV Chimacum rescued a woman who had gone overboard on Thanksgiving Day while the vessel was on its regular run from Bremerton to Seattle.
There was no information on how the passenger ended up in the water. When she was spotted off Duwamish Head near West Seattle, the vessel reversed course to reach her, a crewmember heaved a life ring and Second Mate Dakota Pedersen launched the rescue boat team.
The passenger was pulled aboard and taken back to the ferry, where she was treated for hypothermia by members of the crew and a doctor who was among the passengers before being taken away in an ambulance.
It was Captain Thomas Tilton’s last night in the pilothouse before retirement capped off a 25-year career with Washington State Ferries.
“We are so thankful to Captain Tilton and the crew for their efforts and all our vessel employees for training and practicing regularly for emergencies,” the ferry system said in a statement.
Tilton credited the crew for “a textbook response,” saying “everything went right.”
Chief mates Brendan Ehnow and Andrew Botti, one on the D watch and the other on the B watch, participated in the rescue. There was
“great teamwork between crews,” Tilton added, and he recognized the contributions of every crewmember involved.
“I drove the boat back to look for her and then landed the boat in Seattle,” he said.
“I had a lighted buoy to guide me and could see the passengers along with crew pointing the way. I ran engaged for safety. Just past the
buoy I slowed so I would not outrun my lighting.”
“Everything went right and the crew did the heavy lifting to achieve that.”
“I would like to acknowledge that everyone involved had more to do with this woman’s survival [than I did] and it was my privilege to be
on the team,” Tilton said.
“A cute story for me, on my Last Night of working prior to retirement. It was my privilege to have been a part of the team that did the
work to have a positive outcome of an unfortunate event.”
Article from the Spring 2022 edition of The Master, Mate & Pilot.