A treacherous ocean rescue for two and their puppy off Cape Mendocino

11th Coast Guard District News

MCKINLEYVILLE, Calif. – A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Astoria, Ore., rescued two men and their pup from a sinking 58-foot sailing vessel 130 miles off the coast of Cape Mendocino in Northern California, Friday afternoon.

At approximately 4:10 a.m., Coast Guard Air Station Humboldt Bay received a mayday call from an unknown location. After several hours of trying to re-establish communications, the Coast Guard successfully contacted two people aboard the sailing vessel Gypsy Soul, which was taking on water in 30-foot seas and 45-knot winds.

An airborne HC-130 from Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento responded and found the distressed mariners 130 miles offshore. Due to the distance offshore combined with dangerous sea conditions,  the Rescue Coordination Center in Alameda, Calif., directed a medium-range HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Astoria in Oregon capable of operating in treacherous conditions.

“The level of professionalism and readiness of District Thirteen, Group Humboldt Bay, Air Station Astoria and Air Station Sacramento speaks volumes about the Coast Guard’s ability to work together to get the job done safely, regardless of location,” said Chief Petty Officer Michael Guerrero, command duty officer, Rescue Coordination Center Alameda.

Three survivors Taz Kai, Chuck Fleer and their puppy Sadie were safely delivered to a waiting ambulance at Air Station Humboldt Bay in McKinleyville. Taz and Chuck declined any further medical attention and were released to go home.


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