Coast Guard Rescues Man from Vehicle in the Smith River

McKinleyville, Calif. — The U.S. Coast Guard airlifted a man stranded on top of his vehicle in the Smith River, just West of Crescent City at approximately 4:00 p.m. yesterday.

The call came in from the Del Norte County Sheriff’s office that a man had driven his vehicle off a 15-foot embankment and into the Smith River. He was an elderly gentleman complaining of chest pain and a possible broken leg with hypothermic conditions setting in.

An HH65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Humboldt Bay received the call at 3:17 p.m. and within 13 minutes the crew was airborne. The crew; comprised of two pilots, one flight mechanic, and a rescue swimmer arrived on scene at 4:04 p.m. to find the man clinging to the roof of his vehicle. Despite the steep terrain on both sides, providing only an 80-foot area to manuever; the helicopter crew hoisted the man and flew him to Crescent City Airport where an awaiting ambulance took him to the nearest medical facility.

He is in stable condition and will make a full recovery.

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