The Coast Guard and partner agencies rescued three adults and four children from the cliffs Friday south of Yaquina Head near Agate Beach. The seven people were reportedly swept away by a rip current and became trapped on the cliffs. Sector North Bend watchstanders directed the launch of Coast Guard crews and issued an urgent marine information broadcast at 2:45 p.m.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend received a report of four children in distress. The children, ages 8, 9, 13 and 16, were surfing when the strong current pushed them from safer waters. At this time, An MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew launched from Air Facility Newport, and two Station Yaquina Bay 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crews diverted from training. The Station Yaquina Bay boatcrews arrived on scene at approximately 3:00 p.m. and confirmed there were seven people stranded on the rocks near Yaquina Head. The aircrew arrived on scene at 3:15 p.m. A rescue swimmer deployed from the helicopter and coordinated with a Newport Fire Department ropes team to hoist six persons, including the four children, into the aircraft before being transported to local EMS waiting nearby ashore. The final distressed person was recovered by the ropes team. All seven distressed persons were evaluated by EMS, and no injuries were reported.
"Powerful tides and currents are common in the Pacific Northwest," said Lt. Cmdr. Nathaniel Champlin, chief duty officer at the Sector North Bend command center. "Boaters, paddlers and surfers alike should monitor the tides and expected weather conditions, and use discretion when conditions may be dangerous."
Agencies involved in the rescue:
U.S. Coast Guard Air Facility Newport MH-65 Dolphin aircrew; Two U.S. Coast Guard Station Yaquina Bay 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crews; Newport Fire Department Ropes team; Toledo Fire Department; Newport Police Department; Lincoln County Sheriff's Department; Oregon State Police
Information and photo provided by USCG