Coast Guard airlifts injured woman

 SEATTLE – A Coast Guard helicopter crew airlifted a woman who fell from a cliff at Ecola State Park near Seaside, Ore. yesterday.

Coast Guard Air Station Astoria received a call from the Seaside dispatch center at 4 p.m. that the woman and two Good Samaritans were in need of rescuing from the bottom of the cliff. The 18-year-old woman injured herself when she fell nearly 50 vertical feet into a cove on the South side of the park. A High Angle Rescue Team was on-scene, but unable to rescue the woman due to the rocky terrain and rising tide.

Coast Guard Air Station Astoria launched an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and hoisted the injured woman from the base of the cliff minutes later. The Good Samaritans were assisted by a High Angle Rescue Team member.

The helicopter crew transferred the woman to emergency medical technicians at the Astoria Regional Airport for further treatment.

The missions of Coast Guard Air Station Astoria include search and rescue, law enforcement, aids to navigation support and environmental protection.

Coast Guard Group Astoria also responded to a report of three people in the water at Seaside, Ore.

A rescue swimmer was lowered from an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and assisted in the recovery of two of the swimmers. The last swimmer was recovered by a lifeguard. All three swimmers were transported to awaiting emergency medical service workers.

The Coast Guard reminds beach-goers to be safe, prepared and to remain aware of possible dangers.

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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