NORTH BEND, Ore. — A Coast Guard helicopter aircrew diverted from a transit flight Sunday to rescue a 58-year-old kayaker who became stranded on the rocky shore after his kayak capsized at the base of Humbug Mountain.
A good Samaritan witnessed the incident from shore and called 911 to report the distress.
A 911 dispatcher contacted Coast Guard Sector North Bend watchstanders at 12:35 p.m. and relayed that a male kayaker had overturned in the water near Humbug Mountain and was missing. The man was reported to be wearing a T-shirt, shorts and a life jacket.
An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Sector North Bends’s air facility in Newport, that was already in the air for a routine transit flight, diverted to help search for the man. A 29-foot Response Boat-Small crew from the Coast Guard Search and Rescue Detachment Rogue River also responded to the distress.
The Oregon State Police and Curry County Sheriff’s Office, who had responders on shore near where the kayak overturned, said they could see the kayak in the water but not the man. The Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter spotted the missing man on a rocky shore at the base of Humbug Mountain’s ocean side at 1:30 p.m.
A rescue swimmer deployed from the MH-65 Dolphin helicopter to help hoist the man safely from the rocks up into the helicopter. The kayaker was transported to Cape Blanco State Airport where his care was transferred to emergency medical services personnel. He was reported to be in good condition.
«Since drowning is the leading cause of death for boaters, it was good news to hear the kayaker was wearing a life jacket,» said Petty Officer First Class Michael Halasz. «Even a strong swimmer can become exhausted or disoriented in the water, and wearing a life jacket can greatly aid in a person making it to shore and back home to their family.»