U.S. Coast Guard 11th District Pacific Southwest
Coast Guard rescues 4 hikers near Lost Coast Trail
Editor’s Note: Click on images above to download full-resolution version.
ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Coast Guard rescued four hikers approximately 10 miles south of Mattole Beach on the Lost Coast Trail Thursday.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office relayed a distress message from the Garmin International Emergency Response Coordination Center to Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay watchstanders at 3:12 p.m., which were text-type messages from a Garmin satellite messenger device.
Four people were reportedly hiking on a remote section of the Lost Coast Trail near the Randall Creek area when one man fell off a cliff, sustaining a head injury and was pulled out to sea. The three remaining hikers entered the surf to assist their friend, where they sustained additional injuries and lost all of their hiking gear. All four hikers made it back to shore, and despite their injuries and hypothermia, were later able to recover one of their bags containing the satellite messenger and call for help.
No land units could easily access the remote site and Coast Guard watchstanders directed the launch of a Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew.
The aircrew arrived on scene at approximately 4:25 p.m., located the hikers, and lowered the rescue swimmer to assess their condition and prepare the patients for transport. The aircrew hoisted the two injured men and transported them to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Eureka.
“The hikers’ preparation of packing a satellite messenger gave our crew an exact GPS location to fly toward and greatly expedited their recovery,” said Lt. j.g. Rachel Seaman, the Dolphin helicopter pilot.
A second Sector Humboldt Bay MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew responded and retrieved the two remaining hikers and transported them to Sector Humboldt Bay in McKinleyville.
“The injured man’s friends were brave by fighting the waves and rocks to recover him,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Sam Dannenbring, a Sector Humboldt Bay rescue swimmer. “For as unlucky as those guys were after losing all of their gear during that process, they were extremely lucky being able to retrieve their GPS. That thing saved their lives. It will certainly be a birthday hiking trip they will all remember.”
Go to Source