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Coast Guard aircrew rescues stranded kayaker

The Coast Guard aircrew spotted the missing man on a rocky shore at the base of Humbug Mountain's ocean side at 1:30 p.m.

Posted: Jul 12, 2020 9:13 PM
Updated: Jul 13, 2020 1:23 PM

NORTH BEND, Ore. — A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued a 58-year-old kayaker who became stranded on the rocky shore after his kayak capsized at the base of Humbug Mountain Sunday. 

A Good Samaritan witnessed the incident from shore and called 911.

A 911 dispatcher contacted Coast Guard Sector North Bend watchstanders at 12:35 p.m. and told them a male kayaker had overturned in the water near Humbug Mountain and was missing. The man was reported to be wearing a T-shirt, shorts and a life jacket.

A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Sector North Bend’s air facility in Newport that was already in the air for a routine transit flight diverted to help search for the man.

The Oregon State Police and Curry County Sheriff's Office, which had responders on shore near where the kayak overturned, said they could see the kayak in the water but not the man. The Coast Guard aircrew spotted the missing man on a rocky shore at the base of Humbug Mountain's ocean side at 1:30 p.m.

A rescue swimmer left the helicopter to help hoist the man safely from the rocks up into the helicopter. The kayaker was transported to Cape Blanco State Airport where he got emergency medical services. He was reported to be in good condition.

"Since drowning is the leading cause of death for boaters, it was good news to hear the kayaker was wearing a life jacket," said Petty Officer First Class Michael Halasz. "Even a strong swimmer can become exhausted or disoriented in the water, and wearing a life jacket can greatly aid in a person making it to shore and back home to their family."

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