Coast Guard, Pacific County responders assist kayaker in Willapa Bay

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter file photo

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter file photo

WARRENTON, Ore. — Coast Guard personnel and a Pacific County beach rescue team assisted a kayaker to safety after he overturned in Willapa Bay, Sunday evening.

A Pacific County rescuer aboard a personal watercraft assisted the kayaker to shore after a Coast Guard rescue swimmer from an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Sector Columbia River assessed the situation and recommended the water evacuation aboard the Pacific County asset.

Watchstanders at Sector Columbia River were relayed a call from Pacific County 911 operators at 4:52 p.m., who received the call from the stranded kayaker. The kayaker self reported the incident with a cellphone he had on him. Rescue personnel and assets searched the area for a short time before Sector Columbia River watchstanders made contact with the kayaker and were given a position.

A Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor boat crew aboard a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat searched the entrance to Willapa Bay and was a standby asset while a land crew from Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment was sent to Nahcotta, Washington, to search. Once the Jayhawk helicopter crew arrived on scene the rescue swimmer made first contact with the kayaker.

The Coast Guard reminds all those who take to the water in the coming months to be prepared for any possible emergencies similar to this one. Carrying a communication device like a cellphone or a handheld radio is always recommended when heading out on the water. Also recommended is staying with your paddle craft and dressing for water temperature and not air temperature.

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