Coast Guard rescues three hikers from Lost Coast Trail

Pacific Southwest Coast Guard News
MCKINLEYVILLE, Calif. – An aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Humboldt Bay, Calif., rescued three hikers stranded near Lost Coast Trail Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013.

At approximately 11:28 a.m., the Coast Guard District 11 command center received a notification of three female hikers trapped along the Lost Coast Trail near Cooksie Creek.

The hikers were from the San Francisco Bay area and started hiking Friday from Shelter Cove.

According to the hikers, rising tide rendered the trail impassable, and one hiker was swept into the surf while attempting to get to safety. The other hikers managed to pull her out of the surf, but in the process were exposed to the ocean water while the first hiker sustained several gashes to her left hand. The other hikers used duct tape to stop the bleeding while the Coast Guard was en route. The three women used their satellite phone to keep the Coast Guard updated while waiting for rescue.

Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay launched a MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter at approximately 12:18 p.m. and arrived on scene at approximately 12:44 p.m., locating the survivors almost immediately due to the accurate location they provided via satellite phone.

Due to steep terrain, the aircrew deployed the rescue swimmer, who determined that the survivors had no immediate life-threatening injuries, and the best way to recover the survivors would be via the rescue basket. All three survivors were hoisted into the helicopter followed by the rescue swimmer.

With the three survivors aboard, the helicopter returned to the Arcata airport in Humboldt Calif., where an ambulance from Mad River Hospital was waiting to provide medical treatment. The hikers were tended to by the ambulance staff and given a warm shower and dry clothing by the Coast Guard.

The helicopter aircrew consisted of pilots Lt. Karyn Forsyth and Lt. Andrew Taylor, Flight Mechanic Petty Officer Brett Watts and Rescue Swimmer Chief Charles Brannan.

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