Paddleboarder talks about rescuing three near Fort Worden
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
Brian Kienle of Port Townsend happened to be out in Admiralty Inlet at the right time last weekend.

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT TOWNSEND — A paddleboarder who shuttled three people to shore Sunday said Monday he could understand how they could drift into Admiralty Inlet outside Fort Worden State Park.

“The water looks deceptively calm, but there is a current that you feel when you are out there,” said Brian Kienle, 42, of Port Townsend.

East Jefferson Fire-Rescue identified the three who were rescued as Lauren Dicksion, 11, Madison Carlson, 10, and William Brown, 43.

Kienle, the family services and community manager for Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County, was modest about the rescue, saying Monday he “didn't think it was that big a deal.”

Kienle was on his paddleboard — a long surfboard propelled by a swimming motion if kneeling or a pole if standing — at about 11:30 a.m. when he saw three people a few hundred yards away who seemed to be in trouble.

“They were on inner tubes and were paddling, but they didn't seem to be getting anywhere,” Kienle said.

“I paddled over to them and asked them if they needed help, and they said yes.”

Kienle placed one of the girls on the front end of his 11-foot paddleboard and took her to shore while the man and the other girl floated on the inner tubes.

He paddled back out, put the second girl on the board and towed the man, he said.

“You usually paddle standing up, but I was paddling on my knees because I didn't want to flip over and throw her into the water,” Kienle said.

The three were examined on the scene at about 12:15 p.m. and were determined to be unharmed, said Bill Beezley, spokesman for the fire department.

Beezley did not know where the people live.

Kienle had ventured out into Admiralty Inlet at that particular time because a freighter had just passed, and he wanted to take advantage of its wake.

Kienle, who has lived in Port Townsend for about two years, previously was a windsurfer but learned paddleboarding “as a low-wind alternative.”

Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at

Last modified: May 06. 2013 6:07PM
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