Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend received an agency assist request from Coos County Dispatch, at 12:04 p.m. for two people who had fallen from the cliff. The mother reported no medical concerns, but her 18-year-old son sustained multiple head wounds and required hospitalization.
Sector North Bend watchstanders diverted an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew already in transit from Air Facility Newport and directed the launch of another aircrew from Sector North Bend.
The first helicopter crew arrived on scene at 12:25 p.m. and located the mother below the top of the cliff, clinging to vegetation. The crew safely hoisted and transported the mother to Sector North Bend.
The second helicopter crew arrived on scene at 1:03 p.m. and located the son 36-feet down the cliff face. A rescue swimmer deployed from the helicopter and prepared him for hoist using a rescue litter.
The son was airlifted directly to Bay Area Hospital for treatment. EMS transferred his mother from Sector North Bend to Bay Area Hospital. Their condition is not known at this time.
“The Coast Guard is constantly training for missions exactly like this one,» said Lt. Cmdr. Nathaniel Champlin, the senior aircraft commander at Sector North Bend. “The Advanced Helicopter Rescue School comes to the Pacific Northwest every year to maintain proficiencies in, what we call, vertical surface rescues. Pulling survivors off cliff faces is critical to the Coast Guard’s ability to save lives. We were absolutely ready for this.”