Coast Guard Rescues Two Men from Dangerous Surf

MCKINLEYVILLE, Calif. – The U.S. Coast Guard conducted a helicopter rescue of two men approximately one mile north of the Shelter Cove Airport. The men were on Black Sands Beach when they were swept out into the harrowing 20-25 foot surf. A friend accompanying the men immediately called 911.

The two men were quickly pulled out to sea by a trecherous rip current, where they were forced to remove their clothes to help remain afloat in the frigid 50 degree water. Neither man was wearing a flotation device.

Coast Guard Group Humboldt Bay was notified of the incident by the Humboldt County Sherriff’s Office at 2 PM, and immediately launched an HH65-C helicopter. The helicopter was piloted by LTJG Russ Merrick and LT David Johnson.

After a brief search the two men were promptly located approximately 1/2 mile off the beach. Petty Officer Eric Sydnes lowered the helicopter’s rescue swimmer, Petty Officer James Force, into the towering swells while LTJG Merrick faught to keep the aircraft in position over the men.

Both men were hoisted into the aircraft, transported to an awaiting ambulance at Shelter Cove Airport where they were turned over to local paramedics for further care.

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