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Aug 18, 6:14 PM EDT

Coast Guard helps sailors in high seas off Washington Coast


SEATTLE (AP) -- U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard crews were working to make sure five people on a sailboat that was taking in water off the Washington Coast made it safely to Tillamook, Oregon.

Coast Guard officials say they received a report Wednesday that a 43-foot sailing vessel was taking on water 218 miles west of La Push in 20-foot seas and 30-mph winds.

An electrical pump onboard couldn't handle the flooding and people were using buckets to bail water.

Two Coast Guard aircrews flew from Warrenton, Oregon with the pump while another aircrew from Sacramento, California provided cover. Upon arrival, the sailors declined to be hoisted off the boat but the new pump worked to control the flooding.

An aircrew from Prince Rupert, British Columbia is providing aerial surveillance over the vessel and Coast Guard personnel are maintaining communication with the sailboat crew as they travel.

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