Dramatic Rescue! Crews Seek Injured Man North of Shelter Cove


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Honeydew Fire Department and Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue are responding to a report of an injured person about seven miles north of Shelter Cove. According to scanner traffic, the individual has a fractured leg with an open wound.

UPDATE 8:07 P.M.: The scanner picked up emergency personnel talking about the incident. The injured person is with two hikers. Personnel are trying to get the injured party to Miller Flat where it is hoped the Coast Guard will be able to pick the individual up.

UPDATE 9:19 P.M.: According to a member of the rescue team, the Coast Guard was unable to make the “pick,” or pickup because of heavy fog.  Because the Coast Guard can’t get to the injured person, this could be an all night rescue.  It could take hours before access can be made to the patient. The current plan is to go up the Smith-Etter road near Honeydew and drive as far as possible up the beach. Then walk towards the patient. Unfortunately, high tide is at 12:27 A.M. and will cut off beach access.

Shelter Cove Volunteer Fire Department is also on the scene and working with SHTR (Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue and Honeydew.)


Map shows the beginning of the Smith-Etter Road and its position to Miller Flat. The road is pretty much four-wheel drive only.


This map shows Oak Creek (which is roughly where Smith-Etter Road ends) and the beach to Miller Flat.

UPDATE 11:09 P.M.: Fog has pulled back. The current plan is to put the REACH helicopter down near the patient in the Miller Flat area.

UPDATE 12:17 A.M.: The situation is getting much worse. Dispatch is advising the rescue crews, “The patient is deteriorating rapidly.”  The rescue crews are still a half mile from the patient.

UPDATE 7:29 A.M.: Scanner traffic said that the helicopter was on its way with the patient to Mercy Hospital in Redding.

UPDATE 7:50 A.M.: Photo texted from the staging area. The sun rises on some of the folks involved in the rescue. Job complete.

Included in the photo are members Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue, Shelter Cove Volunteer Fire Department, Honeydew Volunteer Fire Department, Telegraph Ridge Volunteer Fire Department and Petrolia Volunteer Fire Department.

Thank you!

2015041995074234UPDATE 8:02 A.M.: Patient had major injuries.



  • hope they made it and all are safe

  • So proud of both our volunteers and professionals that do crazy things to help out strangers. Takes a special person to do what these folks do. Thanks so much. Best wishes for quick & complete recovery for the injured person.

  • What an impressive response, great job!

  • Rambling Radish

    Well done, amazing crews! Thanks for your ongoing, selfless acts of bravery!!

  • So the question everyone wants to ask is,
    What was the person doing out there? Camping, what? How exacticaly did they break and cut their leg? Could this happen to anyone, or were they doing something real stupid?
    How much did it cost?
    Will this person make a donation to the fire dept. or what????

  • Details may emerge overtime. I’ll see what I can find out but Hippa patient privacy laws make some information unavailable.

  • Even the impossible, remote areas our rescue teams are awsome all of u rock!!!hoping he has speedy recovery! !!

  • You are all amazing! thank you!…and volunteers, every one!

  • We are super lucky to have our amazing volunteer fire depts and search and rescue team!!!! I heard they walked/hiked the patient up kings peak overnite, have you heard that kym? Pretty f’n amazing. Folks can talk smack on so hum/humboldt all they want, this story is an example of one of the things I love about our area- self sufficient people who put their time, money and energy into community service. I thank them ftom the bottom of my heart!!!!

  • Glad it worked out -I was raised out that way n it can be rough to get around ..

    Great job to the rescue team.

  • Great job-glad the rescuers all got the job done safely. We hiked out from big flat that afternoon and saw the emergency team showing up at black sands around 730pm. Not an easy task considering the conditions-remote terrain, fog, large swell, incoming tide, and nite fall approaching-thank you to the entire team for the effort-sometimes you just gotta wait out the night-cheers

  • Pingback: Emergency Personnel Battle Rising Tide, Rugged Landscape, and Thick Fog to Save Fall Victim | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • I am the individual who was attempting to run from Mattole Beach to Shelter Cove in 7 hours. I inadvertently missed the correct trail from the cliffs down to the beach. In retracing my steps I lost my footing and handhold and slid 10 to 15 feet over the edge of a 35 foot cliff to the beach below. I owe my life to everyone involved and will be compensating the agencies to the best of my ability in gratitude for their effective selfless efforts in saving my life.

    As an ultra runner I have been on the other side of the situation and fully understand how tho important and special efforts of all search and rescue individuals contribute toward the enjoyment and safety of our treasured desolate areas.

    • Miles, we’re so glad you are doing well enough to check in on the rescuers. Are you out of the hospital yet?

      • Two years later and I am just beginning to run a little. I missed the BBQ fundraiser this year but plan to come up this summer and personally thank everyone again for saving my life in 2015.

        I hope this note finds you.

        • I am glad you are beginning to run again. I missed the fundraiser also but I was talking to one of my friends who worked it and he said it was a success.

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