May 30, 2020 — A joint rescue effort involving local first responders and a helicopter took place the afternoon of May 27 on the rocks by Heceta Head Lightstation.
Western Lane Fire and EMS Authority (WLFEA) and Oregon State Police (OSP) were involved in the effort to assist four hikers that had become trapped on the rocks by the lighthouse.
WLFEA was assisted by members of U.S. Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River, utilizing a rescue helicopter and additional support from Coast Guard Sector North Bend, in retrieving one of the individuals that was unable to make their way to safety due to health issues.
Station Siuslaw River sent a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat and Mobile Unit to the scene but realized additional support would be needed to safely extricate the stranded individual, according to a statement released.
“While our assets transited to the scene, three of the four stranded people were assisted to safety, leaving one person who was unable to make the transit safely and needed to be removed with rescue assistance,” reported Station Siuslaw River.
After assessing the scene, the decision was made to launch a Rescue Helicopter from Newport, supported by U.S. Coast Guard Sector North Bend. Once on scene, the aircraft safely lowered a rescue swimmer to assess the condition of the patient, and then conducted a basket hoist of the patient and transferred him to the beach to be assessed by awaiting paramedics.
The individuals rescued were not identified and specifics of the incident were not available as of press time.
Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue, a member of WLFEA, applauded the team effort, which required close communication and coordination to accomplish the challenging rescue.
“As always, when it’s time to help, we come together as a single entity. It was a good rescue,” said Training Officer Pete Warren.
Station Siuslaw River stated, “A special thanks to all of our partner agencies in this well-orchestrated rescue.”
Afterwards, Florence Mayor Joe Henry said, “Hats off to Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River and the other agencies that participated. We are very blessed to have you guarding our river and coastline. We are very proud to be a Coast Guard City.”