FLORENCE, Ore. — An off-duty Coast Guardsman rescued two boys after they were swept out by the tide near the Siuslaw River North Jetty, Saturday.
Fireman Dana Gagliardi, a member of Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River, returned the boys to their parents on shore and stood by until they were transferred to emergency medical service personnel, who arrived shortly after.
While visiting the jetty, Gagliardi observed around 4:25 p.m. a woman screaming hysterically about her son in the water. Her husband reportedly ran in from the shore line to inform the mother the two boys had been sucked out into the surf.
Gagliardi was able to spot the boys in the surf as they were being pulled further away from the shore.
“I immediately attempted to swim out to the boys in distress,” said Gagliardi. “After fighting through the breaking surf, I reached one of the young boys. He grabbed a hold of my back and I swam back to shore. The other young boy was able to swim back to shore safely with my help.”
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend also received a call about the boys at 4:25 p.m. from a reporting source on the beach. An MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter crew form Coast Guard Air Station North Bend and two 47-foot Motor Life Boat crews from Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River were launched in response, but both boys had been safely returned to shore before they arrived on scene.
Sector watchstanders were informed around 4:44 p.m. that both boys were returned to shore and transferred to EMS.
Gagliardi, who’s originally from Haverhill, Massachusetts, enlisted in the Coast Guard at the end of Sept. 2015, and reported to Station Siuslaw River Dec. 4, 2015.