A US Coast Guard (USCG) aircrew flying an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Facility Newport, Oregon, rescued three surfers in distress near Devil’s Punchbowl State Park on 5 March. After one surfer got into difficulties, two others attempted to assist him and themselves needed help. All three men were transported to Air Facility Newport, checked by local EMS personnel and released in good condition, said the Coast Guard.
Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Dominguez, the rescue swimmer who pulled the men out of the surf, commented: “The weather this year has been very intense, and this this location has been especially treacherous with dangerous rip currents. People need to be aware of the dangers when they’re in or near the water.”
Lincoln County 911 dispatchers contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend at around 13:40 hrs notifying them that a person on the beach had reported a surfer unable to make it to shore. The aircrew was already airborn in the MH-65 and diverted to the scene.
Lt Matthew Poore, co-pilot of the Dolphin, said: “There was one man who was in trouble, and while we were on scene two others tried to help and exhausted themselves. We picked up two near the rocks, brought them to the Air Facility and did a hot refuel. When we got back to the scene, the third man was near the rocks and couldn’t get himself to safety, so we hoisted him and brought him to EMS as well.”
The USCG reports that since January, it has responded to cases involving six persons in the water at Devil’s Punchbowl.