WARRENTON, Ore. — Two Lakeside firefighters were presented with the Certificate of Valor by the Coast Guard, Friday morning, in North Bend, for rescuing three people in June 2014.
Bob Hood and James Walker, both Lakeside Fire Department divers, rescued a grandmother, her adult daughter and her 2-year-old granddaughter, from an overturned sailboat in South Tenmile Lake near Lakeside, June 12, 2014.
Both Hood and Walker responded to a call from 911 dispatch concerning an overturned sailing vessel. Upon arriving on scene they donned their diving gear as they heard screams coming from inside the overturned sailboat hull.
With visibility limited and numerous forms of debris in the water including loose lines and rigging from the sailboat causing entanglement issues, Hood dove under the water to check on the people in the water. Without room to administer air from his oxygen tank, Hood instructed each person starting with the child to hold their breath while he towed them underwater and to the surface.
Walker, for his part, inserted his oxygen regulater into an opening in the submerged sailboat to supply an air pocket to those inside the submerged hull. Walker was also on the receiving end of the body tows and assisted each person safely to shore. He also quickly assisted his fellow diver, Hood, after he became entangled during the rescue of the child.
“The qualifications of these two divers are unique to most search and rescue units in Southern Oregon,” said Lt. Wesley Jones, public affairs officer, Coast Guard Sector North Bend. “We are very fortunate to have them in our community.”