Coast Guard rescues stranded hiker near Shi Shi Beach, Wash.

PORT ANGELES, Wash. — An aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles rescued a stranded hiker from the rocks near Shi Shi Beach, Sunday evening.

The MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew transported the man to emergency medical services on the nearby beach at about 9:45 p.m.

“With fog pressing and darkness falling along the rugged coastline, we made an approach to a hover amongst a series of towering pinnacle rock formations and were able to locate and recover the hiker stranded some 50 feet high on a rock above the surf,” said Lt. Cmdr. Edward Geraghty, the aircraft commander. “The precise conning commands from the flight mechanic, combined with exceptional airmanship from the co-pilot and physical abilities of the rescue swimmer, culminated in a textbook vertical surface rescue.”

Neah Bay EMS contacted Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, in Seattle, requesting assistance for a 25-year-old man stranded on a large rock south of Shi Shi beach at about 8:40 p.m. The man had climbed on the rock earlier in the day, and the rising tide prevented him from climbing down.

The Coast Guard aircrew, aboard the Dolphin, was diverted from a mission near Everett, Wash., and arrived on scene at 9:35 p.m. The rescue swimmer was lowered to a position below the stranded hiker and cliff walked to his position. The rescue swimmer placed the man in a rescue sling and both were safely hoisted into the Dolphin at about 9:40 p.m.

The aircraft landed on the nearby beach and the man was transferred to waiting EMS in reportedly good condition. This was the first operational rescue for both the Dolphin co-pilot and the rescue swimmer.

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