Missing Olympia man’s body found in Case Inlet

The body of a man who went missing Saturday afternoon after the sailboat he was on capsized into Budd Inlet has been found in Case Inlet, bringing a multiagency search and rescue effort to an end, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

The body was found about 4:30 p.m. Sunday — exactly 24 hours after the incident was first reported — near the Herron Island ferry dock, Lt. Cliff Ziesemer said.

It was not immediately clear who found the body.

Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office staff were thought to be en route, he added. Herron Island is just west of the Key Peninsula, several miles northeast of Budd Inlet.

The search and rescue effort began Saturday and continued Sunday morning to find Jay R. Berglund, 46, an Olympia man who went missing Saturday afternoon after a 22-foot sailboat capsized and sank in Budd Inlet, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

The boat went down in about 70 feet of water, Capt. Greg Elwin said Sunday. Two other passengers were rescued.

Several agencies were involved in the search, he said, including the city of Olympia, Port of Olympia, Coast Guard, the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office dive team and others from Pierce County, including the Anderson Island Fire Department.

A typical tidal flow would push an object in the water toward Dana Passage, Elwin said, but because of the strong winds overnight, they also searched areas north of Budd Inlet, such as near Squaxin and Harstine islands. There was an 11-foot tide overnight, said Sheriff John Snaza, who was on scene at the Boston Harbor boat launch on Sunday.

Berglund was not wearing a life vest.

About 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Berglund and two others — one of whom was the boat’s owner and captain — were participating in the Eagle Island Race, which was organized by the South Sound Sailing Society. All three were described as experienced sailors.

The 27-mile race involved about 25 boats.

According to Ziesemer, who intereviewed the boat owner, the crew was trying to point the boat higher into the wind during the 25th mile of the race when a gust filled the sails and capsized the vessel.

The boat owner and the other passenger were pulled out of the water by another boat after spending 10 to 15 minutes in the water. Berglund tried to get onto the boat, too, but “due to the high waves and the boat being tossed about, he was unable to be rescued,” according to a news release.

Ziesemer added that Berglund was wearing an insulated suit of some kind, but not a dry suit.

Another sailboat also capsized during the race Saturday, but it was towed to safety, Ziesemer said. It, too, had a three-person crew.