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Coast Guard rescues man from burning boat near Neah Bay

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This 25-foot pleasure craft Dawn Trader went up in flames after an engine fire about 3 miles north of Neah Bay on Sunday. The only person on board was rescued by the Coast Guard. (Photo: Coast Guard)

SEATTLE — A Coast Guard aircrew from Port Angeles rescued a man after his vessel caught fire three miles north of Neah Bay Sunday, the Coast Guard said Monday.

The man was hoisted from his life raft into an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and transported to Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles in a reportedly severe hypothermic state, the Coast Guard said.

A mayday call was received at about 11 a.m. from the operator of  the 25-foot pleasure craft Dawn Trader. He reported that the vessel was on fire and he was donning a survival suit and abandoning ship into his life raft.

The Dolphin aircrew and a 25-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Neah Bay were  launched in response.

Both Coast Guard crews arrived in the vicinity of the original distress call around 11:50 a.m. and began searching for the man. Heavy fog reduced visibility in the area to 100 feet.

The aircrew used the signal from the man’s handheld marine radio and the direction finding capabilities of the Dolphin helicopter to locate the life raft. They found the man clinging to the partially submerged raft and hoisted him into the Dolphin at noon.

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