A man was rescued from more than 600 feet off shore in the cold waters of Bellingham Bay around 7 p.m. Sunday, police said.
The 35-year-old near-drowning victim had told three other men that he was having “a really bad day,” before wading into the water at the end on Cornwall Avenue, according to the Bellingham Police Department. The three men noticed the man’s pockets were bulging like they had rocks or bricks inside.
As the man swam farther into the water, he went under “several times,” said Bellingham Police Lt. Danette Beckley. The three other men – who didn’t know the man in the water – called for police at 6:46 p.m.
The U.S. Coast Guard and the Bellingham Fire Department each rushed a boat to the scene, and the man was plucked from the water at 7:04 p.m., just before sunset. Boat crews rushed him to the Coast Guard station in Squalicum Harbor, where he was cold but able to walk on his own, said Petty Officer 2nd Class Ali Flockerzi. The man was treated at St. Joseph hospital. He’s expected to survive.
Police credited the three men and Officer Melissa Whipple for guiding the Coast Guard to the scene of what could have been a fatality.
The water in the bay was about 46 degrees Sunday evening.