Two girls and a man were rescued from the waters off Ft. Worden State Park by a nearby paddle boarder after strong winds and cold water kept them from coming to shore, Jefferson County authorities said Sunday.
Witnesses said the girl’s small float was pushed out by strong winds and drifted “a couple hundred yards” towards Puget Sound. A man swam out to them, but authorities said he could not bring them back because of the current and the cold water.
Luckily, Brian Kienle was on his paddle board and close to the trio. At the time, he was with his church for beachside services. He said he went onto the water to take advantage of cargo ship induced swells.
“I said, do you guys need help? The guy said, yeah,” Kienle recalled, “Everybody looked really cold.”
Kienle did not hesitate. He made two trips to get everyone back to shore.
“I had one girl with an inner tube on the front the first time,” he said, “The second time, we had a girl and a guy hanging on the back.
“Probably the most adrenaline-laced paddle. It wasn’t long, but it was pretty intense.”
Kienle successfully brought all three back to the beach. Jefferson County Fire and Rescue said all were treated at the scene and released.
Kienle returned to his group, drank a cup of coffee and said he went to rest his sore muscles.
“I was just glad they were safe and it wasn’t a bad ending,” he said.