Coast Guard saves two men and dog from Humboldt Bay

SAMOA, Calif. – A crew from U.S. Coast Guard Station Humboldt Bay rescued two men and a dog from the waters off of Fields Landing in Humboldt Bay, Calif., Saturday morning.

At 5:37 a.m., the California Highway Patrol transferred a 911 emergency call to the Coast Guard. Two men were hunting duck on board a 14-foot aluminum boat when their vessel flipped after burying its bow into a wave. One of the men on the vessel was able to place the 911 call before his cell phone became inoperable. Immediately, a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat from Station Humboldt Bay was dispatched from Samoa, Calif., to the scene.

The 47-foot Motor Lifeboat arrived in the area and joined Humboldt County Sheriff personnel who were searching the waters from the shoreline. The Coast Guard boat spotted the men in the water when one of the hunters signaled the Coast Guard with a flashlight. The rescue boat maneuvered into position and pulled the two men and their dog on board. The dog and one of the two men were wearing life jackets.

The motor lifeboat transferred the men and dog to emergency medical service personnel at the Fields Landing pier. Both men were suffering from exposure due to having been immersed in the 50-degree water temperature of Humboldt Bay. The hunter who was not wearing a life jacket was described as “extremely hypothermic” by Petty Officer Second Class John Duncan, the coxswain of the motor lifeboat.

“We provided them blankets and used a hypothermic recovery suit to start bringing the survivor’s core temperature up while we brought them to Fields Landing,” said Petty Officer First Class Jeremiah Wolf, who was on board providing first aid to the survivors.

After transferring the survivors to EMS, the motor lifeboat returned to Station Humboldt Bay.

The Coast Guard strongly recommends that all mariners, especially those on smaller vessels, wear lifejackets and have access to a waterproof marine VHF radios when underway. In coastal waters, a marine VHF radio is the most efficient and reliable method to contact the Coast Guard.

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