Man airlifted from Napa River after being swept downstream

Coast Guard District 11 NewsALAMEDA, Calif. — The Coast Guard rescued a man who was swept downstream in the Napa River at approximately 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Coast Guard rescuers found the man clinging to shoreline rocks after searching the Napa River in American Canyon for more than two hours. Responders included the Coast Guard Cutter Pike, Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco helicopter crew, Coast Guard Station Vallejo small boat crew, American Canyon Police and Fire Departments.

Shallow water prevented the small boat crew from reaching the man. When the man’s position was relayed to the helicopter crew, rescue swimmer Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert Custer was lowered to retrieve the man for a hoist. He was taken to Napa Airport and is reportedly in good health.

“The rescue was a little different for our crew because we had to be aware of power lines that criss-cross in the vicinity of where the rescue took place,” said Lt. Christopher Courtney, the rescue pilot. “We perform rescues all the time, but each case is different and the power lines made this case more dangerous, but with an entire team effort including the boat crew we came away with a successful outcome.”

The man was fishing in the American Canyon wetlands with a friend but was trying to locate a better fishing spot when he was swept downstream by a strong current. Unable to find the man downstream, the friend called for help.

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