This past weekend was a busy one for First Responders from Nehalem south to Pacific City. In addition to Motor Vehicle Accidents, Missing Persons, and other calls, First Responders also responded to the following notable events.
Event number one near Cape Kiwanda:
On Saturday, May 18, 2019 at about 8:32 AM, Tillamook 9-1-1 received a report of two surfers who were in distress in the ocean at Cape Kiwanda. Deputies from the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office, the Nestucca Fire Protection District and an ambulance from Adventist Health Tillamook responded to the beach at Cape Kiwanda.
Responders learned that one surfer had been caught in a rip current and another more experienced surfer went out to assist him. Both surfers were stuck in the rip current about 600 yards offshore. Water Rescue Teams from North Lincoln Fire and Rescue as well as Netarts-Oceanside Fire District responded to the scene. A Coast Guard helicopter from sector Columbia River in Astoria was launched as well as a 47 foot motor lifeboat from US Coast Guard Station Tillamook Bay in Garibaldi.
The current was strong enough that the surfers were taken around Cape Kiwanda and were just off McPhillips beach when a Coast Guard helicopter arrived on scene. The Coast Guard helicopter deployed a rescue swimmer to assist the two surfers. The Water Rescue Team from North Lincoln Fire and Rescue went into the water and recovered the two surfers and their surfboards. They were brought to shore on McPhillips beach where they were evaluated by emergency responders. Neither surfer was injured nor hypothermic. Both surfers were wearing wetsuits which prevented them from becoming hypothermic in the cold ocean water.
The two 27 year old men from Portland, were rescued more than a mile from where they went into the water.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind people about the dangers of recreating in the ocean water. Ocean water temperature and rip currents are significant hazards at all times of the year. In this case, both individuals were properly equipped with thick wet suits which helped to prevent the onset of hypothermia.
Event Number 2 near Highway 101, Milepost 41, Neahkahnie Mountain Viewpoint area:
On Sunday, May 19, 2019 at about 10:16 AM, Tillamook 911 received a report of someone slipping and falling at one of the viewpoint areas along Highway 101, around MP 41. Deputies from the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office, Nehalem Fire and Rescue and an ambulance from Adventist Health responded.
Responders learned from the subject’s boyfriend that his 22 year old girlfriend from Corvallis had slipped and fallen while taking pictures over the retaining wall and had fallen about 100’ down, landing in a tree which prevented her from continuing into the ocean, sustaining serious injuries during the fall. She was reported to be unconscious but breathing. Assistance was requested from Cannon Beach for a Rope Rescue and they dispatched a High Angle Rescue Team who arrived at approximately 10:51 AM. A Life Flight Helicopter was also requested and landed at another Viewpoint at approximately 10:45 AM.
At approximately 12:02PM the female was loaded into the helicopter then transported to Emanuel Hospital in Portland with life threating injuries.
In addition to the above Responders, assistance was provided by State Parks and the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office Chaplains.