The U.S. Coast Guard had a busy weekend, plucking multiple surfers out of hazardous waves and rip currents in area waters.
On Friday morning, a 52-year-old man was surfing off the Westport Jetty when he lost his surfboard and had difficulty getting to shore. Coast Guard Air Station Astoria sent a helicopter out, diverting it from training, and a motor lifeboat from Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor was also sent to the scene.
The surfer, Bill Bailey of Chehalis, Wash., was able to make it to the rocks of the jetty safely by the time help arrived, said Bob Coster, Air Station Astoria's civilian search and rescue coordinator.
Friday evening, another surfer had trouble at Indian Beach, at the north end of Ecola State Park in Cannon Beach. An initial call reported a surfer struggling with large waves when they lost sight of him. A 60-year-old surfer, Robert Carroll of Portland, found himself trapped in a rip current and was swept into a nearby cove and was unable to swim out, Coster said. Air Station Astoria sent a rescue helicopter, Station Cape Disappointment sent a motor lifeboat, and Cannon Beach Fire and Rescue also assisted in the initial search for the man. When Carroll was found, the helicopter crew hoisted him to safety using a rescue basket.
On Sunday, two surfers were rescued about 200 yards off of the South Jetty at Grays Harbor. A 52-year-old man and a 14-year-old girl from Shelton, Wash., had been swept out to sea. Station Grays Harbor launched a motor lifeboat, and a helicopter from Air Station Astoria was at the ready. The pair, Michael and Daryl Horne, were rescued by the lifeboat before the helicopter was needed. The two were suffering from mild hypothermia, but were later released, Coster said.