Two Hunters Saved But Dog Swept Away by Flood Waters


Screen grab from Coast Guard video. See below for more.

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.) CaptureHowever, 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.”



  • I so hope buddy the good boy is found safe and sound best of luck in finding him

  • hope their dog made it out of the water, keep us posted…..

  • Lost Croat Outburst

    There’s reason to hope for Buddy. Good chance he will turn up in a day or two on high ground or at someone’s door. Dogs have temperate and subarctic ancestry (wolf) while our ancestry is tropical Africa. They can endure colder temps for longer times. Looks like a large, healthy, strong male which really helps. Labs were bred to retrieve ducks all day in truly icy water. Dogs’ natural four-legged stance is inherently strong and makes for good swimming. This is why dogs often survive sneaker wave tragedies while the humans perish.

    Glad the nimrods made it. Too bad they didn’t read the weather forecast, but that’s how we learn, if we survive the lesson. Ah, those were the DAYS!

    • Yea but how long can it hold it’s breath pinned against a submerged fence?
      So the weapons are left in the truck for some mutant to grab?

      • Must have been a Toyota, right Barry?

        • Sounds like champagne humdumery, if you ask me. Crabbing should be good….

        • His count is going down. There has been a whole rash of illegal activities and stupidity lately and none have involved Toyotas.

          • Told you we’re not at peak Toyota, but thanks for remembering me at Christmas.
            How many dirtbags with stickers on Toyota trucks can you count on Humdum pavemet?

            John Boone in Kentucky exports better weed, quietly than Humboldt ever dreamed of. It all goes to Cuba and people in Kentucky don’t wreck the place.

            People from Kentucky brought the first seeds to Humboldt.

  • I cant believe he would risk it like that.That poor dog.That boils my blood.Theres so many of these people we share the roads with.i dont feel comfortable about the safety of my family because people like this making stupid choices on roads.hope the dog find a new owner.unless he had to be driving in massive flood zone for some reason.sounds like he went to go play in the flood and made a stupid choice.

    • “hope the dog find a new owner.” Really? Well I hope Buddy finds himself reunited with his family.

    • I agree. It was not that bright to go into the flood zone in the first place. They risked themselves, and the rescuers too. Not to mention the dog. Maybe the dog will find a more responsible owner.

    • we are still searching for buddy, this was my son that you people with the rude statements are talking about …he is young and yes made a mistake…he and his friend were duck hunting….it came on them instantly and it was ugly….the pictures you see are at least an hour after the water had stopped racing….my son was the one on the log way out there almost done in himself….he went after his dog….buddy is his best friend and was the final gift to him from his father who died of lou gehrigs disease when he was 12….we are all very upset and sad right now and have been searching to no avail….many thanks to those of you who are posting the prayers and hope we need right now…and the man and his nephew who made the call that probably saved his life and that of his friend…and most importantly the coast guard…..thank you with all my heart……

      • Let me know if there is anyway we can help. I’m glad your son and his friend are safe and I hope that Buddy is found soon.

        • Kym, can’t you take down those nasty posts about the boys? It seems to me that their sadness is enough without being guilt tripped and shamed on the Internet for the rest of their lives.

          • Peggo, I could delete all comments on the site that I don’t agree with or find heartless. But I believe that allowing people to respond or ignore them is mostly the best way of dealing.

            I’d rather err on the side of allowing free speech than of never letting an unkind comment through.

            I have to admit though….many comments try my patience.

      • I hope that Buddy makes it home. Pets are like family. And, I hope your son recovers soon.

    • Homegrown HUMBOLDT

      Hey Caltrans [edit]! They were out hunting a nd when the extremely hi tide and when it broke over the dike it was like a flash flood! The boys were in the fields hunting and were savages to make it back to there pick up ! So y don’t you go take down some more Rd side memorials or lean on a shovel or what ever it is you do!!

  • Praying for buddy.

  • Most dogs are smarter than people, and better company!

  • Nice work rescue teams! Like you, I’m hoping Buddy makes it out ok too. Prayers for mans BFF.

  • Today is my birthday and I’d like buddy to be found safe,I’m such an animal lover this breaks my heart,and this would truly be a gift to find him!!!!!

  • Happy birthday Gma tomarrow is my sister s birthday and happy new yr

  • Thanks so much!!Happy Birthday to your sis!HAPPY HOLIDAYS.Has there been any word on buddy?

  • Many years ago, I found a pregnant boxer at the mouth of the Mad River. I was not able to find her owner, so my family adopted her, and loved her for over a year. One day at the car wash in McKinleyville, ‘Gretchen’ disappeared, and we were heart broken. After extensive searching, we were able to determine that she had seen her old owners car down the street, and run down and jumped in. The old owners were amazed and ecstatic, and so glad to have their baby, lost for over a year, back. We were heart broken, but glad we had saved this wonderful dog and, eventually, reunited her with her loving home. Never give up hope with a dog. They may not be able to find their way home, but they may be okay.

  • Any update on Buddy?

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