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Pacific City: N. Oregon Coast Rescuers Use Drone to Assist Surfer at Cape Kiwanda

Published 1/03/24 at 4:05 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Rescuers Use Drone to Assist Surfer at Cape Kiwanda / N. Oregon Coast

(Pacific City, Oregon) – [UPDATED] --- It's not every day that a beach rescue goes better than you thought it might.

Tuesday morning, rescue personnel on the north Oregon coast came to the aid of two stranded surfers around Cape Kiwanda, and ended up not having to endanger themselves to any large degree. The incident concluded with both surfers safe on land. (Photos courtesy TCSO)

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Various rescue agencies responded to Cape Kiwanda Beach at Pacific City on Tuesday at around 10:23 a.m., according to the Tillamook County Sheriff's office (TCSO). 911 operators had received a call that two surfers were getting pushed northward by swells and wind, bringing them too close to the rocks of Cape Kiwanda.

Deputies arrived along with Tillamook Ambulance, Netarts-Oceanside Fire-Rescue, Nestucca Rescue and soon the U.S. Coast Guard. They found the two surfers out a little ways into the surf, and slowly edging to the more dangerous sections of the cape.

“One of the surfers was able to ride a wave in safely to the beach, while the other was pushed further out,” TCSO said on social.

The second surfer was still stuck out there, unable to make it in because of the elements. However, he was able to use hand signals to let responders on the scene know that he was not injured. He was also able to stay with his board, which helped his survival.

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“The surfers were experienced and were wearing appropriate wetsuits for conditions,” TCSO said.

Members of Nestucca Fire-Rescue launched a drone, which carried a personal flotation device that was ready to drop to the man if needed.

It was a long way around, but the man made it to the other side of Cape Kiwanda to the beach known as McPhillips Beach.

“Responders lost sight of the surfer for a short period of the time,” TCSO said. “During the time, the surfer was able to paddle around the Cape and work his way toward Mcphillip’s Beach.”

Nestucca Fire Chief Jim Oeder said the Coast Guard was activated but luckily not needed.

UPDATED: The surfer was tired but otherwise in good shape with no injuries. Little to no medical attention was needed and no trip to the hospital.

More on McPhillips Beach, and how this area around Cape Kiwanda was once studied for the placement of a nuclear plant. Cape Kiwanda Almost Had Nuclear Power Plant: Bizarre Oregon Coast State Park History

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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