US Coast Guard begins 2016 saving lives, just like in 2015
By Tony Hernandez | The Oregonian, Portland, Ore. (Tribune News Service) | Published: January 19, 2016
When two mariners were stranded Saturday on their 52-foot, Canadian flagged sailing vessel five miles from Westport, Washington, the crew of a U.S. Coast Gaurd MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter flew over to help.
A crew member dropped from the chopper, swam to the boat, then helped put them onto a basket that was lifted into the aircraft. The guardsman swam in 12-foot high seas, under winds of 25 miles per hour in 49-degree water and 50-degree air temperature.
It was just the latest in a long string of rescues throughout 2015.
For the thrill junkie, the job may appear fun. For the rest of us, the U.S. Coast Guard's rescue operations can impress you every time you watch what it takes to rescue a stranded mariner, hiker or anyone else, including pets, who are lost in remote areas of the sea, coastal cliffs and inland areas of the Pacific Northwest.
According to estimates, U.S. Coast Guard men and women responded to more than 2,500 incidents in 2015 that resulted in more than "200 lives saved, over 3,800 lives assisted and over $5,365,000 in property saved."
The Coast Guard's District 13, which covers the Pacific Northwest, posts of videos online for the public to see, and here are five of some of the most impressive rescues from 2015:
In April, the crew of a MH-60 Jayhawk rescued a 60-year-old man and his dog who were lost near Ocean City, Washington.
In December, crews located a 67-year-old man 17 miles off the coast of Cape Perpetua. The man was in distress in his 38-foot sailing vessel off the Oregon coast in reported 22-foot seas with wind gusts of up to 57 mph, according to officials.
Also last month, crews rescued an 18-year-old swimmer who suffered a leg injury near Cape Lookout State Park. You can see the swimmer waving for help while seated on a rocky cliff.
In November, two kayakers needed help after their vessel capsized. The aircrew spotted the men while conducting training missions near the entrance of the Columbia river.
Lastly, this rescue was one of the first of 2016. A stranded kayaker at Devil's Punch Bowl State Park was lifted up and traveled several dozen feet while suspended underneath the helicopter to land.
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