Eight people on a crew boat were pulled from the frigid waters of Lake Union by Seattle police on Monday evening after a windstorm threw the rowing team out of its shell.
An additional four people in a second shell were also assisted by SPD Harbor Patrol Unit when they capsized right next to the Harbor Station on the north end of Lake Union.
Police were originally called around 6:30 p.m. Monday by a “frantic” coach from Lake Union Crew, according to the SPD blotter item written by spokesman Jeff Kappel.
“SPD Harbor Unit officers sprang into action immediately and launched two boats to speed to the scene,” Kappel wrote.
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The rescue effort was difficult because it was dark, there was “significant wave action” and most of the people in the water were wearing dark clothing, Kappel wrote.
While officers were assisting those eight, another crew boat rowed into the “relatively calm waters in front of the Harbor Patrol Station” Kappel wrote. The four people in that boat were being “assisted by officers when they capsized the vessel.”
Ultimately, all 12 people were recovered from the water and brought into the Harbor Patrol Station to warm up.