Man on Shore Spots Two Floundering Next to Capsized Boat and Manages to Save Them

The two victims, the man in the shorts and the man in the beanie, talk with the Shelter Cove Fire Captain who has his wetsuit peeled back. Cal Fire was also at the scene. [Photo provided by Shelter Cove Fire]

Early yesterday afternoon in Shelter Cove, a resident, Scott Kelsey, was on his deck looking out at the ocean when he saw two men floundering beside their small capsized boat about a mile offshore, said Cheryl Antony, spokesperson for Shelter Cove Volunteer Fire.

The weather was bad for boating, Antony said. “It was really, really windy,” she explained. “Scott went down to the marina and launched his boat…The tractor wasn’t launching it was so windy.”

Another person jumped on board and a third stayed on shore and directed the two via marine radio, Antony said.

“It was hard to get out there,” she explained. “It was so windy and rough.”

And, she said, there wasn’t much time to reach the two in the water. “The two had no life jackets,” she said. “They were just clinging to life. They were so cold…They had been there about 30 minutes.”

The two rescuers managed to get the two men out of the water and into their boat which Antony said must have been difficult because the two men in the water were cold and exhaustion would have made them weak and clumsy.

The two rescuers brought them to the Marina where the Shelter Cove ambulance was waiting. “Our guys did a magnificent job of doing what they did and getting them warmed up,” Antony said. “Their skin was so cold…Their teeth were chattering.  It was hard to take their blood pressure they were shaking so hard!”

The rescuers put the two men into hypothermia bags and cranked up the heat in the ambulance. Eventually, the two men were able to warm up and declined to be taken to the hospital. Their boat though wasn’t recovered.

“The amazing thing is…this is the second time [Scott Kelsey] has rescued somebody in the last few months,” Antony said. “There was a kayaker lost in the fog who called on his radio for help.” She said that Kelsey had jumped in his boat–this time with one of the Shelter Cove firefighters—and managed to go out in fog so thick, Anthony said, “that you couldn’t see anything.”

The kayaker and his boat were brought back safely.

“[Scott] was taking a chance but, whew, he really gets the job done,” Antony said.






  • Absolutely brave, to put yourself in harm’s way to save others. Extremely commendable effort Scott.

  • Thank you Scott Kelsey, a true hero

  • We have our own legend! I suggest a SCFD bumpersticker:
    “Scott Would Go”

    I’m not making light of it…these are hard, mean times and I’m grateful for good news about kindness and courage. Got to love a hero!

    • A marine radio and a life jacket can save your life No excuse not to go in the ocean with either

      • cave troll how do you know they didnt lose them. you just had to put your 2 cents in didnt ya. Good job scott.

      • You don’t know if they had or did not have lifejackets or radio. They must have, as jackets at least are required. When you think you know what you are doing on the water, you rarely put on your lifejacket until you know you are in danger, or you know your vessel is sinking. If the boat capsized suddenly, they might not have time for either. But by the way Cheryl A. describes it, they should have know, since the weather was rough. Still an accident, and a good save by Mr. Kelsey. The tears after were for happiness, not sadness.

        Good work Mr. Kelsey.

        • Lost Croat Outburst

          Wonderful work by Mr. Kelsey saving the “Darwin Award” team of the week. Assuming they had life jackets because it’s the law is a bit naive. The mariners obviously had bad judgement to be out in a small craft when it’s so windy the tractor launch is not operating. They are also apparently young men so the “y” chromosome figures heavily in their wisdom (why, why?!). An exciting day and lesson learned, maybe.

    • “Scott would go!” Love it

  • Impressive. How lucky for these men that they were spotted by someone so willing and able to help them.

  • So very lucky they were spotted by this fellow. Good work.

  • No doubt these men are alive because of Scott! Amazing!

  • Covelo or busted

    Selfless hero. A place in heaven set for ya!

  • nothing but gratitude for these courageous men and women

  • life is good OG

    Good human being! Good karma for you.

  • Even from afar it was easy to see how windswept the ocean was yesterday. Hard to fathom what was so important those two went out in a small boat without some protection. They are so lucky someone else was paying attention to Detail! The mighty force of the ocean is not to be trifled with. I hope hey learned an important lesson.

  • Some good people are still around.

  • What an absolutely amazing, positive story!!!! Superb job Scott Kelsey, you are a savior to these men. They definitely owe their lives to you!

  • As son of the chief of MVFD thank you for your service.👍. They are blessed to get a second chance at life.

  • Eldon G. Whitehead

    I hope that they are going to plan on giving this Gentleman a great dinner and party and honor him with a Metal. He deserves it.

  • Thank you Scott for the wonderful person you are. You’re very special. See all you have to do is stop and look around and you will always find goodness.

  • lorrie neuenfeldt

    So glad to hear some good news , Scott is a hero and there are some very happy people still alive and well. God Bless you all!

  • Wow – I’m so happy to live in a place where people care about each other 🙂 THANK YOU SCOTT!

  • Trinity County man’s selfless act of kindness saves two lives. In right place at the right time. Way to go Scott Kelsey!!

  • A man who brings integrity and honor to his name . Thank you..

  • Saved just in time before the hyperthermia kicked in.

  • More of this please, this is the type of caring we need in our communities.

  • Two true Hero’s. God please bless them all !

  • Who the he’ll would have been on the ocean yesterday? Stupid is as stupid does.

    • Anti troll league

      Well it’s nice to know that you will never cause anyone to have to save you from a bad choice because you never make them.

  • Holy Moley were they a lucky pair of unlucky sailors. Great job rescuers!

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