The MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, landed on Long Island around noon and transferred two men and three children, who were reportedly in good condition but cold and wet, to emergency medical responders at the air station at 12:20 p.m.
The group called watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment, Washington, around 9 a.m. Sunday, reporting they were stranded after taking their 12-foot skiff across Willapa Bay to camp overnight Saturday and could not leave because of weather. A boat crew from from the station trailered a 29-foot Response Boat – Small to a boat ramp at Willapa Bay but could not launch due to shallow water.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River attempted to coordinate a water rescue with other agencies in the area, but as winds picked up to nearly 25 mph and with worse weather on the way, the decision was made to launch the helicopter.
“This time of year, being prepared for the weather and water conditions can prevent disaster,” said Lt. Daniel Cathell, one of the pilots. “Boating can be great fun, but boaters should always check the weather forecast prior to departing.”
In addition to checking local forecasts, Pacific Northwest tide, current and weather reports can be accessed here: http://ift.tt/1TYW94n.