Coast Guard rescues surfer in distress near Tillamook, Ore.

GARIBALDI, Ore. - A 47-foot motor lifeboat crew from Station Tillamook Bay in Garibaldi and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Astoria, Ore., conduct helicopter operations near the entrance to Tillamook Bay in Garibaldi, Thursday, August 2, 2012.Sector Columbia River-s Station Tillamook Bay and Air Station Astoria routinely work together to enhance Coast Guard readiness and efficiency on and above the water.U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nate Littlejohn

TILLAMOOK, Ore. — A Coast Guard aircrew rescued a surfer who was reportedly drifting in and out of consciousness near Cape Kiwanda, Sunday afternoon.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, hoisted the 22-year-old man around 1:00 p.m. and transported him to the Pacific City Airport, where he was met by an emergency medical response helicopter and taken to a hospital in Portland for treatment.

Tillamook emergency responders contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River in Warrenton at 12:13 p.m., requesting assistance in rescuing a surfer in distress.

The Jayhawk crew was in the area for training and diverted to assist. Sector watchstanders also launched a 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Coast Guard Station Tillamook Bay.

While the crews were en route to the scene, watchstanders were notified that good Samaritans were able to lift the surfer safely out of the water on to a rock formation and that Coast Guard assistance were no longer needed.

Local authorities arrived on scene and planned to remove the surfer from the rocks, but shortly after determined that a helicopter hoist would be the safest option based on the location and the man’s condition.

“This rescue highlights the importance of teamwork with local emergency response agencies,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian Rodriguez, an aviation survival technician and member of the aircrew who conducted the hoist. “The responders on scene were well trained, and their clear communication allowed us get the man out quickly and safely.”

Weather on scene was reported as up to 5-foot waves, 15-mph winds and a water temperature of 59 F.


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