CHARLESTON, Ore. — Coast Guard and local fire department crews responded to a mariner who had become lost while attempting to walk back from his vessel after it went soft aground in the Charleston South Slough, Friday.
An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Sector North Bend safely hoisted and transported the mariner to emergency medical personnel waiting at sector.
Watchstanders at sector received an initial report at 2:49 p.m. from a good Samaritan who was concerned after seeing the 30-foot sailing vessel in the slough circling in the same spot. More good Samarita calls came in as people spotted the man on the ground and walking around his vessel after it had grounded.
When other attempts to make contact with the mariner failed, a dolphin helicopter crew made contact with the mariner and dropped off a radio. The mariner stated his intentions were to wait until high tide.
As the helicopter crew was leaving the area, they spotted the guy leaving his boat again. They returned and requested he stay on his boat before returning to sector.
About two hours later, the mariner use the radio to contact Coast Guard personnel for help as he was lost in the mudflat and could no longer see his vessel.
Land units from Coast Guard Station Coos Bay and a boat crew from North Bend Fire and Rescue searched for the man, but were unable to locate him. The aircrew launched and was able to safely locate him.
Next high tide for the slough will be around 3 p.m. (PST), Saturday, at which time the owner may attempt to refloat his vessel.