PACIFIC CITY, OR – On Saturday, February 17, 2018 at about 4:18 p.m., Tillamook 9-1-1 received a report of a surfer, later identified as Sunny Hatch, 22, from Portland, had become separated from his surfboard at Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City. The caller reported that a second surfer, identified as Noah Woodside, 26, also from Portland, was going into the water to attempt a rescue.
Shortly after the arrival of First Responders, the second surfer (Woodside) made it back to shore and reported that he was unable to reach his surfing partner. At the time of the rescue, surf conditions were heavy and there was strong outgoing tide. A United States Coast Guard helicopter was dispatched to conduct the rescue.
First Responders were able to observe Hatch using binoculars. They continued to monitor his location until he was no longer in view. At about 4:43pm he was located again about a quarter mile south of where he was last observed by rescuers. It appears that he had gotten into a south-bound current that allowed him to exit the water. Exhausted, Hatch was unable to exit the surf line under his own power. He was assisted from the water by Sergeant Greg Plummer of the Oregon State Police and a bystander.
Both surfers were treated and released by paramedics at the scene. Both were experienced surfers and were wearing full-thickness wetsuits, bootie, gloves and hoods.
The Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Oregon State Police, Nestucca Fire & Rescue, Adventist Health – Tillamook ambulance and the United States Coast Guard.