Swimmer rescued near Warrenton, Oregon

 SEATTLE – A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued a swimmer from the waters near Warrenton, Ore., yesterday.

Coast Guard Air Station Astoria received a relayed call from 911 operators at 11:01 a.m. that two swimmers had been caught in a riptide and were pulled out to sea. An HH-60 helicopter crew was diverted to the scene and airlifted one of the swimmers from the water. The other swimmer managed to swim to shore on his own prior to the crew’s arrival.

The rescued swimmer was dropped off at Fort Stevens and treated for hypothermia by emergency medical service workers from Warrenton.

A riptide is a strong flow of water returning seaward from the shore. Such currents can all be extremely dangerous, dragging swimmers away from the beach and leading to drowning when they attempt to fight the current and become exhausted. Riptides cause approximately 100 deaths annually in the United States, more than all other natural hazards except heat and lightning.

When caught in a rip current, one should not fight it, but rather swim parallel to the shoreline in order to leave it. Floating until the current disperses into deeper waters is another method of surviving such a dangerous incident, but it may leave the swimmer farther out from shore.

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