Two Hunters Saved But Dog Swept Away by Flood Waters
This morning two young hunters were trapped by rising floodwaters north of Crab Park. The Coast Guard arrived and managed to hoist the two to safety in their helicopter. (See press release below.) However, Buddy, the dog of one of the hunters, was separated from the men before the helicopter arrived on scene.
According to a posting on Humboldt Lost & Found Pets, Buddy was “swept away in flood water before owners were rescued via helicopter!” The unaltered male, black Lab was last seen near the Loleta Bottoms. If seen contact Rebecca at 9720) 625-1195.
Press Release from the Coast Guard:
Today Sector Humboldt Bay Coast Guard rescued two men from the Eel river basin when they became trapped by rising floodwaters.
At approximately 9:35am this morning, Sector Humboldt Bay received a call from a resident near the mouth of Eel River who reported hearing distinct and panicked cries for help. Using binoculars, the resident visually located two people who had been duck hunting near an abandon farmhouse that was surrounded by the rising waters of the Eel river waving for help.
Minutes later, Sector Humboldt Bay dispatched RESCUE 6606, an MH-65D helicopter and flight crew to aid in the search effort already underway by Loleta Volunteer Fire, CALFIRE, and California State police. Once on scene the helicopter crew located one 18 year old male standing and waving for help in the back of a partially submerged white pickup truck trapped by floodwaters. The helicopter crew elected to survey the area once more when they spotted the second hunter hanging on a floating log amongst the debris.
With their attention now focused on the most urgent emergency, flight mechanic Matt Lawrence directed pilots Commander Kevin Barres and Lieutenant J.J. Briggs into position where he lowered rescue swimmer Adam Carr to the survivor. Unable to help himself, Carr stabilized and readied the man for hoisting. Due to the helicopters weight, Carr was left in the water and the man was retrieved into the helicopter and transported to emergency medical services three miles away. The crew then returned to Carr’s position where he was hoisted back into the helicopter and prepared to affect the second rescue.
After formulating a rescue plan, RESCUE 6606 returned to the pickup truck. With underwater fences, floating debris, and many possible unseen hazards, Lawrence again directed pilots, Briggs and Barres, into position where they delivered the rescue swimmer directly to the bed of the small pickup to assess the survivor. Once stable, both the survivor and Carr were hoisted back into the helicopter where the man was delivered to awaiting EMS. Both survivors were transported to Redwood Memorial Hospital where they are being treated for hypothermia.
With the rescue operations complete, the helicopter and crew returned to Sector Humboldt Bay. The crew walked immediately into a pre-planned memorial service to join the rest of Sector Humboldt Bay’s personnel in honoring the sacrifice and heroism of Coast Guard RESCUE 1363. To the day, exactly 51 years ago the three airmen of RESCUE 1363, local resident Bud Hansen, and three flood survivors perished when their rescue helicopter crashed while conducting rescues in the same area within the Eel River basin during the flood of 1964.
Lt. Briggs said of today’s rescue, “Thankfully for these two men, someone heard their calls for help and took immediate action by calling emergency services and two lives were saved.”
Cmdr. Barres, Response Officer of Humboldt Bay said to the crew of Sector Humboldt Bay, “This is why we train hard – to help the citizens of our community whenever the call comes.”