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US Coast Guard Rescues 15 in Two Incidents on Washington, Oregon Coast

Published 11/16/21 at 5:24 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

US Coast Guard Rescues 15 in Two Incidences on Washington, Oregon Coast

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(Astoria, Oregon) – Five people were rescued off a fishing boat on the southern Oregon coast and 10 people were brought to safety after a flood on the north Washington coast, keeping the US Coast Guard quite busy in the last day or so. (Above: US Coast Guard rescuing a group out of Forks, Washington)

The first incident happened early on Monday near Forks on the Washington coast, as flooding reached dangerous levels in a residential area. First responders from Clallum County called in the US Coast Guard to help with evacuations, with quickly rising flood waters and excessive currents preventing the use of county boats.

USGC crews responded from the Port Angeles station with an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, deploying a rescue swimmer to search numerous residences. None were found trapped in those buildings, so the crew left to refuel at Quillayute Airport.

A few hours later, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Sector Columbia River in Warrenton, Oregon, arrived on the scene. They helped evacuate 10 people from multiple residences before transporting them to awaiting medical personnel at a nearby safe landing zone designated by the Clallam County Fire Department. This included four children.

All residents are accounted for and there were no injuries.

On the southern Oregon coast, the USGC came to the rescue of five people trapped in a life raft about 20 miles offshore from Winchester Bay on Monday.

About 9 p.m., the crew of the 67-foot fishing vessel Desire – based out of Neah Bay, Washington – sent out a VHF-FM distress call, which was received by North Bend watchstanders of the Coast Guard. Desire was taking on water, they reported, and the five were about ready to abandon ship and jump into the life raft.

The USGC reports the vessel's emergency beacon automatically went off shortly after it made contact with water, transmitting the location of the vessel to USGC personnel in Seattle.

Rescue crews arrived by 9:30 p.m. by boat and helicopter, coming from the Umpqua River, Newport and Florence stations. Survivors in the life raft were not far, and the USGC soon deployed swimmers to begin hoisting them into rescue craft.

The helicopter crew from Newport rescued three survivors, and the helicopter crew from North Bend rescued two survivors. The station's boatcrews remained on scene to assist as needed.

Above: US Coast Guard rescuing a group out of Forks, Washington

"The fishing boat's crew all had survival suits, properly deployed their survival raft, and shot two flares to assist us in locating them,” said Lt. Conor Regan, a helicopter pilot from Coast Guard Air Station North Bend. “Their overall preparation serves as an example for other mariners, as it was fundamental to the positive outcome of their potentially life-threatening situation.”

Also assisting the efforts were the beacon's transmission of details, some of which were not heard with complete certainty over the radio distress call.

No injuries were reported, but all five were taken to emergency services in North Bend.

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