Two Airlifted From Eel River After Boating Accident

Sheriff's water rescue.

Sheriff’s water rescue.[Photos provided by a reader]

Humboldt COunty Sheriff's OfficePress release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On 3/31/18 at approximately 1:36 pm, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Cal Fire responded to the Miranda area for the report of a boating accident. A witness reported a boat overturned in the river, and two people were stranded in the water. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies and Cal Fire arrived on scene and airlifted the two people to safety.

The Cal Fire helicopter rescuing fishermen.

The Cal Fire helicopter rescuing fishermen. [Photo tweeted by Cal Fire]

The subjects were evaluated by medical staff and released on scene with no reported injuries.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707)445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.

UPDATE 6:16 p.m.: The Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue public information officer, Thomas Norris said that a team from their crew helped with the recovery of the boad. “We assisted the Sheriff’s Department,” he said. Miranda Fire assisted also.

He explained that fisherman were in a drift boat that capsized. “They were stuck on some trees in the middle of the river,” he said.

The boat was partially submerged and being pressed against some trees by the current. Recovering the boat was tricky but eventually they dislodged it and the Sheriff’s Department was able to pull it in to shore.

Southern Humboldt County Technical Rescue attempting to rescue the boat which was mostly underwater.

Southern Humboldt County Technical Rescue attempting to rescue the boat which was mostly underwater. [Photo from Southern Humboldt County Technical Rescue]



  • Bet that river was plenty cold today.

  • Miranda fire was there also

  • So proud to be part of a community that works as a one big team to save lives.

  • Thanks Kym your the best love your site

  • Here’s a picture

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Great photo and great job by the government employees and volunteers. Even saved the boat. Impressive. Nice contrast compared to the human-slime rip-off stories.

  • Come on just swim across. Water can’t be that swift right now Trick us to swim fast never look back. The more I look at the pics it looks reasonable for self-recovery Hope they donate to the rescue organizations. Will they be charged for boat recovery ? Seems a bit above and beyond

  • Lots of room around both sides of those stickups. Beginners, I hope. Thats a pricey bailout. The hull might be in good shape still since its not taking the brunt of the current inside the hull. Water looks fishy…That is a very easy stretch to drift. Too bad.

  • Damn, nobody could of tied a rope to a rock? I’m guessing $250k on that recovery, which I’m sure both have no insurance, and are victims of the weed fallout.

  • Was it a private trip or guided ?

  • As halfo said that is a very easy Strech of river to drift. Probably tried dragging anchor in the current which has been the demise of many drift boats and fisherman. None the less, likely rookies and at least they weren’t hurt!

  • No matter where you are or how the river seems it always has the points of no return if you are not so lucky. The river has so much shit to get caught up in that you cannot see and if you don’t know where the debre on the bottom is or can’t see it then stay out of it or get someone who does.

  • Great pic of 102. Yea, looks like they could have saved a lot of money and trouble by swimmin the last 50ft.

  • For those of you that don’t know, in water as cold as it is now, when you try swimming, the average person will get about thirty seconds before they lock up and can’t move their arms. Then they drown. Best bet is to hang on the the boat/branches and hope for rescue.

    Happens nearly every year in my neck of the woods/river.

    • The current was moving a lot quicker than you think, and the water was cold from the snow melt. Swimming to shore was not an option, especially with their waders full of water. The rescue team did a great job saving the two anglers. They were very fortunate they had another boat with them who quickly called 911. I was just upriver when this happened.

  • And that’s why they train, good job First Responders, these guys get to go home with bruised Egos and the shame of being rescued on a beautiful day in nice water, next year they’ll be laughing about it.

  • Looks like Sean Mitchell’s boat! Lol

  • hmmmmm Pretty sure the river closed to fishing
    on March 31st…….

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