It’s true that Skamokawa did not live up to its usual standards with only 2 races Saturday and the Long-Distance race being cancelled… after which the wind kicked in! (of course). The hot weather reduced the thermal winds we are used to, with it filling in later, and with lighter conditions. The two races on Saturday were in the late afternoon, but provided good, technical racing with strong current and less consistent wind conditions. Following the racing, all enjoyed meatball sandwiches, salad and other goodies for dinner. The new manager of Vista Park and the Port of Wahkiakum County joined us with his family. He is a sailor and very happy to have us at the park. He was very keen on asking for suggestions to help the park improve (besides the obvious Sand Mat thorns!) and excited to have us back next year. Sunday the wind just would not fill in as the hot temps in Portland and Skamokawa were about the same. We were unable to start a race before the 3pm time limit.
There was a sad incident to report. Around noon on Saturday, there was a call to 911 from other park visitors down the beach. 2 brothers aged 26 and 28 were swimming, were caught and swept out by the current (and possibly ship wake) and drowned as a result. Our mark set team of Bob, Al, Tim, and Andrew, along with Jeff and Sue were instrumental in assisting both the emergency services and the families during this tragedy. Using their radios, they were able to communicate with the local authorities, with passing vessels and a Coast Guard helicopter to assist in the search. Jennifer Hoag assisted by translating Spanish with the family and authorities on shore. Sunday, the search continued, and our chase/safety crew spent the day taking the family and friends out in search of the brothers. As sad as this situation was, it is good to know we are prepared as a group and could be of assistance at the time of need. We also have a new AED defibrillator to carry on a chase boat in case of need on the water. This was onboard with Tim all weekend.
Thank you to everyone who was involved. As Paul E. said, we are all part of the same family that play on the water, whether as a swimmer or boater, we help those in need.
Results can be found here:
For those interested in the status and outcome of the search, the Wahkiakum Eagle newspaper has been posting the Sheriff’s reports here: