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Raymond Man Perishes In Boating Incident Off of Washaway Beach

Tokeland, WA. – Today at approximately 9:12 AM the Pacific County Communications Center received a 911 call regarding an overturned vessel in the ocean near the vicinity of the Washaway Beach area off of State Route 105. The caller further explained that the vessel was an 18-foot Bayliner and that the two occupants had been thrown into the water but had managed to hold onto the vessel. The reporting party was in another vessel and was unable to get close enough to render aid.

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The United States Coast Guard along with law enforcement and emergency services responded to the scene. During the response, the operator of the overturned vessel was able to make it to shore by utilizing a cooler to keep afloat. The operator of the vessel was identified as Eric Howell, age 46, of Raymond. Howell explained that he had lost sight of the other occupant that was with him. Howell explained that a large wave overturned the vessel.

Law enforcement and emergency services personnel began to search the beach and the rock jetty areas. At approximately 1009 AM the second occupant of the vessel was located deceased on a rock jetty by a sheriff’s deputy approximately three quarters of a mile from where the vessel capsized. The decedent was identified as Stanley Lapinoja, age 51, of Raymond. Neither occupant of the capsized vessel was wearing a life jacket during the incident.

Sea conditions at the time of the incident displayed significant swells and visibility was poor. Responding agencies 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.

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