Ex USCG 44304 still saving lives
By Robert Lyden
Photo Robert Lyden
This evening the ex U.S. Coast Guard 44ft motor lifeboat 44304 which is now owned and operated by the Anderson Island Fire Department took part in a SAR operation and was responsible for saving the life of a prisoner that had either fallen or jumped off of a prison vessel. This vessel was from the McNeil Island Prison, which is located across from Anderson Island.
The man is thought to have been in the cold waters of Puget Sound for over two hours, so he was obliviously very lucky to be alive.
The crew of the fireboat was as follows: Chief James Bixler, Lt. Tom Huffar, Ron Music and Geoffrey Paton.
The fireboat “J.T. Mason” as she is now known, has been with the fire department since 1997. One of her main tasks is to transport people in need of medical attention from Anderson Island to the mainland.
On one such occasion the crew was transporting an expectant mother, when not long after leaving dock the mother went into childbirth. Happily everything went well and a little baby boy was delivered onboard.