4 rescued near Vancouver Island after capsizing during annual Race to Alaska

At least four people were pulled from the water Monday after their boats capsized during an annual race up the West Coast.

On Monday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed it responded to multiple distress calls in the Strait of Juan de Fuca after multiple people who had been sailing as part of the Race to Alaska ended up in the water. 

The coast guard says other nearby boaters helped pull those individuals out. They have since been taken to receive emergency medical attention. 

The Race to Alaska is an annual multi-day 1,200-kilometre race from Port Townsend, Wash., up the coast to Ketchikan, Alaska. 

A spokesperson for the Joint Rescue Centre out of Victoria, B.C., says they have not received calls for assistance, but the group is standing by in case their help is required.

The U.S. Coast Guard says there is a gale warning in effect for the area. Environment Canada has issued a strong wind warning for the Juan de Fuca Strait and says winds could get up to 20 to 30 knots or about 43 to 65 km/h Monday and Tuesday.

The coast guard says it remains in the area in case other boaters run into similar trouble.

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