Air Station Humboldt Bay Rescue Kayaker

McKinleyville, Calif. – At 12:25 p.m., Coast Guard Group Humboldt Bay received a 911 transfer from the California Highway Patrol, that a man was trapped in the surf near Moonstone Beach just south of Trinidad, clinging to an overturned kayak. An HH-65C helicopter from Air Station Humboldt Bay was immediately dispatched to the scene.

The kayaker was visiting the area from Monterey and was unable to right his swamped kayak in the surf. He pulled the skirt to escape the capsized kayak then used the kayak, his lifejacket, and a float bag to remain afloat. He then paddled perpendicular to the surf to escape the rip tide and try to make it towards shore. At 12: 45 p.m. the helicopter crew arrived to find the kayaker clinging to a table-sized rock several yards offshore. The stranded man had been unable to make it to shore and elected to climb on the rock to wait for rescue or low tide. The helicopter rescue swimmer was lowered to the rock and both men were successfully hoisted to the helicopter. The crew and kayaker returned safely to Air Station Humboldt Bay.

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