WARRENTON, Ore. — A Coast Guard aircrew rescued two people stranded on Wallace Island in the Columbia River, Sunday.
With the boat secured on the island, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria in Warrenton safely transported the 20-year-old female and 29-year-old male to Westport, where one of their vehicles was parked.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River received two second-hand reports around 9:50 p.m. of two people possibly stranded on the island. The aircrew, and a boat crew on a 29-foot Response Boat-Small from Coast Guard Station Portland, launched in response.
The aircrew located the two individuals and confirmed that they had become stranded after their 15-foot boat had been swamped by a passing ship. The two people were able to beach their boat on the island, where they texted friends and family of their situation, who in turn contacted sector watchstanders.
“This case serves as a reminder in the importance of having a reliable means of communication, as cell phones are not always reliable and are susceptible to weather and water conditions,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Starr Franklin, operations unit controller at Sector Columbia River. “This is why we highly advise, regardless of the vessel size, having an emergency position indicating radio beacon and a handheld VHF radio available to use to call for help in an emergency.”
Weather on scene was clear with 2 mph winds and up to 9 mph gusts, with 48 F air temperature and 58 F water temperature.