TOKELAND — A Raymond man lost his life early July 10 when the 18-foot Bayliner in which he was a passenger capsized off Washaway Beach in North Pacific County.
The Pacific County Communications Center learned of the accident at 9:12 a.m. via a 911 call.
The reporting party, who was in a nearby vessel, said he was unable to get close enough to render aid, according to the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office.
The caller said two occupants were thrown into the water, but managed to hold onto the small boat.
The U.S. Coast Guard, along with law enforcement and emergency services, responded to the scene near State Route 105.
Vessel operator Eric Howell, 46, of Raymond, was able to make it to shore by using a cooler to stay afloat.
Howell told responders a large wave overturned his boat and that he lost sight of his passenger, Stanley Lapinoja, 51, of Raymond.
Law enforcement and emergency services personnel searched the beach and nearby rock jetties.
At 10:09 a.m. Lapinoja’s body was found by a sheriff’s deputy on a jetty about three-quarters of a mile from the site of the capsizing.
Neither occupant of the capsized vessel was wearing a life jacket.
There were significant swells and visibility was poor, the sheriff’s office said.
Responding agencies at the scene included the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office, Shoalwater Bay Tribal Police, Washington State Parks, Coast Guard ground crew and responders from the South Beach Regional Fire Authority.