Billy Joel themed Marine Rescue!

partenrpartenr Posts: 1
edited 02/10/20 in Off Topic
I'm hoping to get this message to Billy Joel. A person was saved from a perilous situation in the sea on Dec 31, 2019, and the situation has a lot of tie-backs to him.

My name is Capt. Randall Parten. I am a US Navy Veteran and a USCG 100-Ton Captain. I operate an assist-vessel 100 mi. north is Seattle, out of Blaine Harbor, WA. On New Year's Eve, 6 days ago, I heard a "pan pan" call on the VHF radio I monitor in my office at the marina; a paddle-boarder was in the water. 46-degree water. Same outside air temperature. In a gale event with 25-30kt winds.

Here is a link to one of the newspaper accounts: https://www.thenorthernlight.com/stories/local-captain-aids-paddleboarder-who-got-blown-adrift-in-semiahmoo-bay,9203

My vessel is named "She's Got A Way". Positively an ode to my indescribably astounding wife. Secondly, the boat's job description. My vessel comes to the aid of many in distress. The persons who are in peril hear the Coast Guard on channel 16 announce that "She's Got A Way" is coming to their aid. No matter what the threat is to them... she's got a way to safeguard them. Portable pumps, towing, a man-overboard expert (myself), a Master at the helm and a very tough 700hp vessel speeding to their aid. "She's Got A Way" is underway, I announce on the radio when I deploy to help.

There was no-one in the office with me when the call came in about Suzanne, the paddleboarder. But because of a device I invented and recently patented, I can easily affect a man-overboard recovery single-handing. So I got underway and fast.

Suzanne, an experienced and very well equipped boarder, had set out in calm waters on the South shore of the bay - leeward. But the wind and waves kicked up and got an unexpected grip on her; she was simply unable to counter the might of the environmental forces carrying her swiftly away from shore. She was helpless to return and was at the mercy of the sea for about an hour before she finally saw a vessel speeding toward her. As it vessel approached, she saw a long rescue line & ring trailing 45-degrees off the stern and felt like she was probably going to be safe. At last, the life ring reached her.

As she was being pulled toward the heaving and swaying vessel, water splashing into her face through each wave, something abruptly seized her attention at the stern of the boat. "She's Got A Way". Billy Joel. "It figures", she thought. She KNEW she was going to be ok then. She thought to herself "Of course this is happening; a Billy Joel song has found me when I needed it most." You see, Suzanne Westcott is the daughter of a Rhode Island fishing family - the Westcotts, out of Narragansett. Suzanne is named after one of the family's vessels "F/V Suzanne". With her father taking to the sea year after year to provide for his family, Downeastern Alexa was "her song". The Westcotts were some of the original settlers of Block Island. Her Grandfather was born in the Southeast Lighthouse there and went on the co-found the Pt. Judith Fishermen's Co-op - where Suzanne thinks Billy took on fuel on occasion. Now, in her moment of greatest peril that she'd ever had on the water - a whole intertwined aura of childhood, safety, kindred spirits, family, comfort, and hope were instantly woven into an emotional safety net -simply in seeing Billy's song on the stern of that boat.

I am hoping to ask Billy if he would sign the life-ring that brought Suzanne into the boat in that gale. I would like to give it to her with his autograph. It would be an intricate treasure that represents so much in one small single item.
Perhaps Billy will see this. If he does, he can know that the unbounded spiritual reach of his music is hard at work at sea - in the San Juan Islands and Gulf Islands of Canada; 'Coming to people when they're feelin' down'.

"Coast Guard sector Puget Sound, M/V She's Got A Way is underway to persons in distress. Range 5 nautical miles. ETA 8 minutes. Standing by on 16"

- Capt. Randall Parten, [email protected]
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